Song of Solomon 6:3- "I am my beloved's and He is mine."
Dear friends and family,
Yesterday was quite the blessing of a time. For the better part of the day, we celebrated Christ's birth with the little ones. This included a presentation of musical instruments, songs, and of course los regalos! Each child received a unique gift bag appropriate for their age group. I met another little baby yesterday named Ana Maria. Her mother died during labor and now the child is here with her older sister. From the looks of it, the child has some mental handicaps as well as some potential phsyical ones. They keep her in a plastic seat which separates her legs so that they won't grow deformed and they gave her a feeding tube which is only done for those who are malnourished. She still makes the suckling movement with her mouth. She has beautiful eye lashes and deep brown eyes. I would take her home in a heart beat.
After the party, we cleaned up and took the children who are functional outside to play with their new scooters and roller blades. This one boy, Juaneduardo whose only apparent abnormality is severe dry skin was zipping back and forth on his blades! I kept warning him to be careful, but he just kept going and going. Every now and again he'd fall, but it never stopped him haha. They had races, did some tricks with the razors, and had such a wonderful time.
We then went to Ray and Ana's house for empanadas and hot chocolate. Even though the house is only about 2 blocks away from Luz y Vida, Ray drove us there. When we asked him why we couldn't walk, he told us that it was for security. When you have 20 foriegners coming to your house, things look suspicious and robberies are likely. This led him to tell us of the horrors of taxi drivers. If they sense you are a foriegner and do not know where you are, they will kidnap you for years, robbing you of everything. I think that really gave my dad a sense of where we are. Ray drives his daughters every where, never allowing them to go anywhere alone. He is the papa of the house...and must protect his women. It is slightly more intense than our home towns. The food was incredible, as you can imagine and the hot chocolate was much richer, made with bars of Colombian chocolate.
I had some pretty amazing conversations yesterday with Betty, Matt and Victoria (all day I thought her name was Mary haha). Its interesting to see people searching. Beautiful actually. It draws me to my knees in prayer that God would unveil their eyes to see the depth of His mercy and peace and receive it.
This morning, the group went to climb this mountain that leads to a beautiful church. I stayed here to spend some time resting and praying. Wise choice. Later today we're going to this market which is apparently open every Sunday. Our last day at the orphanage is tomorrow. We'll be painting a mural for them on one of their blank walls. Then we leave very early on Tuesday morning.
Of everything I've learned, the most impactful has been that as individuals, we are not called to everything in this world. Christ has burdened our hearts with specific things for His purpose. I may not be called to these children, this country, or this cause, but I am called to pray for and support them in whatever way possible. It is really beautiful to see a similar reaction in Colleen when God does marvelous things here as when I see God moving within His children in His ministry at home or in Chiquila. Praise God for differences! Additionally, Sister Valeriana does not preach against society, the way life is now, but rather declares the ways in which she peacefully desires to help. In other words, she is filled with very little talk, but rather submits to the authority (government), but makes changes in the power of Christ. I desire to be like that...a woman of nothing but pure and holy faith (which comes from a heart changed by Christ) and love towards my enemies.
The safety of love is found in Love-Jesus Christ, God. Remembering that safety is not necessarily the absence of danger, but rather the presence of God in every moment. God promises to protect the righteous...so if we receive His gift of grace found in Christ Jesus, by which we are deemed righteous...we are never without protection. And this protection is so far beyond physical...what is this life anyway but a dim reflection? We are always safe in the promise of Him. In His future promises to us...in which He has been faithful throughout all generations.
I'm looking forward to coming home. I miss you all. And I am so glad I have had this opportunity to serve.