After 3 weeks of Spanish classes in San Jose and having the opportunity to be tourists for 2 weekends, my team and I leave for Shiroles in 2 days. I think I speak for everyone on my team when I say that these past three weeks have both flown by and taken forever.
My time in San Jose has been way different than anything I ever imagined. I’ve had WiFi everywhere I’ve gone (even on the bus), warm water, I can brush my teeth using the sink water, there are hardly any mosquitoes, my host mom is the best cook ever (sorry, Mom, LOL), and I’ve had so many other comforts that make it feel like I never left the States. With that, the challenges I’ve faced are so different than I expected.
Before I left home, I was told so many times in different ways that this summer would be filled with the Lord pruning me and preparing me for the future. This allowed me to prepare for a summer that would be a roller coaster of emotions—it’s definitely been that and the summer has barely started. There’s no way I can sum up everything that the Lord has done these past few weeks, but I’m gonna touch on some highlights.
My team and I are reading When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert (if you haven’t read it, I highly suggest doing so). This book alone has challenged so much of where I’ve been as a North American Christian and everything I thought I knew about what God was calling me into. So far, the book has been talking a lot about what poverty is and isn’t, how helping can hurt those who are helping and those who are being “helped,” and how to reframe the way we look at poverty to help others and not hurt them. Through reading this book, walking through some of my past experiences and having conversations with my roommate, God has gently shown me who I have become as his servant.
A few years ago, I came back to Christ and at that point in my life, I promised myself that I would never be someone to throw my religion at people, because I experienced firsthand that brokenness is not overcome with religion, but with love. While I have been growing in my faith, I realized that the first thing I would do when I saw brokenness was to speak truth and not show love, because most of the time it’s easier to quote the Bible instead of living what it says. I had forgotten, and am still learning, how to do the only thing that didn’t turn me further from God, but towards Him: loving others fully.
One conversation that my team and I have been having when it comes to transitioning to Shiroles is about realizing we are not going to “be Jesus" to those we encounter, but we are going to simply be an act of His love, hopefully, in everything we do. With this transition, we have also realized that being so comfortable in San Jose has stripped us of all preparation for our transition to Shiroles. Earlier this week, God showed me how this was a huge part of his plan for the next 7 weeks.
For me specifically, He was telling me that I cannot prepare myself for the future. Only He can truly prepare my heart and mind. This was also to force me to surrender everything I have to him and completely lean on him through this transition and my time in Shiroles. With our time in Shiroles being so close, I definitely have excitement for the weeks to come as well as some nerves. I know that everything God has planned will be so good and that He will be so present through everything we face.
Everyone on my team has expressed that we need prayers in trusting the Lord even more and that we can feel his presence.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
- 1 John 4:16
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You must have a group size of at least 6 members to join this trip. Please view the Small Team trips or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.
For most trips, you must have a group size of at least 6 members. Please view the Small Teams tab on each Community page or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.