Today makes one full week of life in Guatemala, and my goodness a lot of life has been lived. Though I’ve only been here a short while, I’ve fallen in love with Guatemala and slowly but surely, Guatemala is becoming much more than just a country to me.
Guatemala is waking up to roosters every morning. It is drinking the freshest coffee I’ve ever had and eating wonderful meals made by our sweet cook, Maria. Guatemala is hammocking in the front yard with my team and having my water bottle as an extension of my body. It is sweating more than I ever have in my life and being able to count the number of showers I’ve taken on one hand. Guatemala is long skirts and headbands and chacos. It is rainstorms and palm trees and sunshine and mountains and the sea and plants that have only existed in magazines before now.
Guatemala is choco bananas and sweet bread and more rice and beans than you could imagine. It is buying glass bottled Pepsi from the tienda across the street and hugs from our little neighbors down the street. Guatemala is relying on a fan to keep you from waking up in a bundle of sweat. It is the huge smiles and continuous “hola’s” from the people around town. And even after just eight days, Guatemala is becoming a home of sorts.
However, Guatemala is also hard. It is seeing families on the side of the street doing anything they can for money. It is going to the park and seeing homeless people sleeping wherever they can. Guatemala is having your heart ripped out. It is visiting the local garbage dump to feed the families there. It is watching little kids and their parents go through the garbage to find anything salvageable or sellable. It is seeing houses made of paper and trash. Guatemala is falling in love with a little boy named Noel Alexander, who lives at the dump with his mom and his ten siblings. It is wishing more than anything to have the means to build them a house and give them anything they could ever desire. Guatemala is a growing experience.
Guatemala is leaning on The Lord for ever ounce of strength that I need. It is seeing the face of Our Creator in anything, anyone, and everything around me. It is meeting Jesus in every minute of every day. It is seeing Him is ways I never have before. It is crying out to Him on behalf of the people of this country. Guatemala is a place longing for the love of our Heavenly Father.
Guatemala is a place where The Lord is going to do a lot of work. He is going to change my life here, the lives of my team members, and the lives of the people. It will be good because He is good.