This week I think has been an eye opener for me personally. Since being here, I haven’t felt God moving in clear and distinct ways until now.
We started off the week doing our first test run of the liter light project. This involves taking a two liter bottle and applying it into a roof so that the water and chlorine inside will better reflect and exude light in a home. We plan on using this in the village without electricity so that we will have more ways of reaching the people and building relationships with them. Our first try, however, was not so successul. We didn´t quite get all the measurements right and we didn´t have all the right tools either. We had used straight cutters for a lack of being able to find curved ones here in Oaxaca and had somehow managed to puncture a small hole in the bottle. It was a bit discouraging to us as I think we had begun the day with very high hopes but it was just a reminder that practice makes perfect.
The next two days were mostly filled with random encounters. Tuesday, I went to the children´s home again and spent the morning laughing and playing with those sweet children. Afterward, we travelled to our villages and this week another guy on our Nehemiah team joined us. He made a great addition because he takes initiative in talking with people and is not shy about bringing up the Gospel. I admire his boldness a lot. Anyways, he came with us and we walked looking for children to play soccer with or just people with whom we could carry on a conversation. After some time in the first village, we hadn’t accomplished much and thus headed over to th other instead. We ran into a young girl that had attended the sports camp the week before and she told us a boy in the village was looking for us. None of us knew exactly who this boy was, as there had been many children at the camp, but it didn´t take long for us to find him. We visited for some time with he and his family as well as with our friend we met the first day. They fed us atole which is a mixture of corn left over from tortillas, some form of fat, and chocolate all served as a hot liquid drink. It didn´t taste bad at all but one of the girls on my team couldn´t finish hers so I took on for the team and drank hers too. We conversed with the two families for a while and found out that they´re interested in learning english and that the kids would love for us to play sports with them sometime soon as well. It gave my friends and I a bit excitement to know more ways in which we can serve the people there.
Wednesday was intended to be spent working on our liter light project again but we had to plan for next week as that was when we would have the curved cutters needed. At first, the other girls and I were unsure of what to do with our day but knew that we were going to attend a cell group/bible study that night in one of the communities. So we just relaxed and God still provided. We took a trip to the grocery store and amazingly enough on our ride there, we had a conversation with our taxi driver about the differences between Catholics and Christians. He had some distorted views but we tried to share with him that we are Christians. Then later on, the Lord provided another opportunity for my teammates Alex and Ali. We were on our way to the village and they had some good discussions with the bus driver as well.
Thursday was probably the most encouraging day for all of us. We went to the more suburban type village at first and managed to run into several different people. It has been rare for this to happen for most of the time this community seems dead and empty. But our friend Nick played soccer with some men, we met a mechanic in a “comedor” and we ran into a lady we had once asked for directions who seemed really happy to see us again. Then for the second half of the day, we visited the other village. This time, we went to our friend J´s house, she´s the one with whom we made torillas. We sat and talked with her and her children for a while and it was beautiful. Nick asked her younger son if he remembered any of the stories from the sports camp. His face lit up as he retold the story of the Good Samaritan. It was precious! Then we told them the story from Mark of the demon possessed man and somehow she shared with us her testimony. In that moment, listening to her say the time of crisis her family was in and that they turned to God, praying for help, I almost cried. She spoke so strongly of how God had saved them and provided health, and she emphasized the example she wants to leave for her children.
At this moment, I realized that this work was fully worth it. I knew that God had brought me here to Oaxaca for a purpose. I´m here to hear the hearts of people and to bring glory to the Father above. I´ve begun to recognize that even the smallest things matter in my time here. I may not radically change someone´s life, I may not lead anyone to Christ, but I know that after this is all over it will have been worth it for me. I entered the mission field this summer, expecting to find my calling. But I think that that is just it, my calling isn´t neccessarily to be a missionary or to be a counselor or whatever but my calling is forever to be a servant of God.
The weekend was full of fiestas and goodbyes. We celebrated the nights with 3 of the summer girls that had arrived here sometime before us and their service was over. In the short time I was able to interact with these three, they each provided me with wisdom and words of encouragement to be strong.
I have also noted that this week just about marks the halfway point of my time in Oaxaca. I cannot believe how fast the time is going by. The other night, I was walking in the zocalo with Karen and Katie, just eating some icecream when I realized how short my time is here. It hit me that I won´t ever have this same experience, with these same people. I need to make this time count for sure.