I haven't written since we returned, because I wanted the processing to slow down enough for me to clearly discern some takeaway points. (My mind is still racing.)
I am still praying through the events of the week, but the phrase that God has impressed on my heart most of today...and especially as I spent a couple of hours tonight editing pictures...is that real love enters in.This picture was taken the very first day as our big blue and white bus rumbled into the community of Chitipey. This community is only reachable after traversing 30-40 minutes of unpaved, muddy roads. There was a curious group staring at us as we arrived. They weren't sure what to make of these pale skinned visitors...and at first we weren't sure what to do either.
There was a language barrier and an almost greater cultural barrier. It was intimidating, but we got off the bus...and led somewhat by our children, entered in.Apparently language and culture don't matter much when you are playing soccer.
(Except for the fact that they were bewildered by my blue jeans wearing GIRL playing with the boys. Oops!)Even without language they were able to teach the children to play tic tac toe.
And each afternoon when it was time for Bible time, I expected my children to want to help lead. Instead, they participated among the other children. How it blessed my heart to spot their pale faces in a sea of tan ones!
And by the last day intermingling became almost second nature. (R was somewhat shy when not playing a game.)
We went into their homes and their school. We learned about their lives and their challenges. We listened, we lent a hand and we prayed. We didn't revolutionize their lives or pretend to have all the answers. We didn't have to.
The smiles that bid us farewell were indicative of a great thawing and the beginning seeds of trust that had been planted...simply from showing up, on their turf and entering in.
There is certainly some real life application of this point for me back at home!