This past month has been a whirlwind, to say the least. Four weeks ago today, I was getting on a plane for Colorado, where I spent eight wonderful days in the Rocky Mountains with my daughter, Rachel, and some wonderful friends. After ten furious days filled with unpacking, laundry, repacking, doctor appointments, team meetings, teaching my women's Sunday School class, and celebrating my daughter's birthday, I boarded the plane once again...this time, heading for the mountains and mission field of Quito Ecuador, for eight days.
I feel like I should be writing a prayer update to my supporters--or at the least, updating my Facebook--letting people know how the mission trip went. Instead, I sit here, unable to do much more than cry out to my Father, God...searching for answers as to what it is that He is wanting to do in my heart.
The trip was amazing in many ways. I fell in love with so many of the children we worked with at Amor y Exparanza...
as well as the majestic mountains which surround the city...a reminder that God is still God over this city full of poverty, crime and devastation.
I was in charge of the music for VBS and I have never experienced children worship like I did in Quito. I wanted to weep every single day as I watched those children embrace each other, lifting their hands, bowing to their knees in prayer, as they sang "Tu Fidelidad" (You are Faithful).
Quito 2010 blog.)
At the same time, my heart was struggling in ways I could not express...ways I had not anticipated. A theme God had given me several months prior to this mission trip was "expect the unexpected from unexpected people." I had shortened that to "expect the unexpected." I must say I saw many unexpected things happen during this trip...much of it coming from unexpected people. For example, I never expected those children to bless me like they did through their worship. Oh, I expected to be blessed by them...just not to the extent I was through the way they worshiped in song.
However, when God gave me that phrase, I thought it meant only good things. I never dreamed He was preparing me to face pain in areas where I least expected it and from people whom I least expected it....and I certainly never expected it to happen on a mission trip. You see, as I headed to Quito, I was--in reality--expecting the expected from expected people. I was expecting good from good people...whether it be those I came into contact with as I ministered at the school, did our work project, at the airport, or other places we went. I was not expecting heartache and pain...other than that of seeing the suffering in Ecuador. So, when it hit, I was not prepared; I was not expecting it...and certainly not from the sources from which it came.
I realize, however, that it is only a continuation of something God has been trying to teach me for the past several months...something I am desperately trying to learn...yet something I am still clueless as to what it is. I feel there is a battle raging within me...one where a part of me wants to withdraw from the world and never write or speak again. In fact, I never want to open my mouth and utter a single word. I'd rather retreat into my shell as the quiet, withdrawn person I used to be because I feel that is what others perfer. Yet, I know God wants to teach me through everything that has gone on--not only this past week, but the past several months. I know that He loves me too much to allow anything into my life that isn't ultimately for my good and His glory. Therefore, all of what has taken place is somehow a part of His plan and I will seek His face until He reveals it to me...however long it takes.
And so, I am pressing hard in to Him today...thankful that very few people ever read this blog...that it is a safe place where I can share my heart, along with what little I can right now about my trip. I need time to process things and then i will share more with others when I am able..