Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After a Summer Away

I just finished unpacking. Two days ago, I landed on US soil after nearly 2 months in Chiquilá, Mexico.  And transition has begun.  But I don't really feel like delving too deeply into the tension of transitioning into Connecticut. I'd rather share with you a couple of small moments that shaped some of the beauty of the summer for me.

This view. This water.  I cannot tell you how many nights I spent at the dock. Once the sun sets and the stars come out, I would walk the two minutes from the hotel and just take it in, pray, reflect. I'd have company several times - these moments were treasures for me. One night in particular, I was alone at the dock and had seen several shooting stars. I looked down and noticed the bioluminescence in the water. Just as the stars danced above, the water was filled with this beautiful white light that would erupt as waves crashed. These moments are treasures.

This little guy. Christian Jonathan. He became a part of our family, sharing meals with us on a regular basis and just hanging out whenever he had the time. He'd come usually after raiding the local tienda for snacks and sugar-filled drinks. He had the sweetest joy about him and would always end up grabbing hold of my leg as I stood talking to people or going about some daily business. He always wanted to know what we were going to do next and would invite himself along in the process. I always made him eat his veggies. 

Years of relationship. I have known Merari since she was a little one. She's now 16 years old and still hugs me like she did when she was 4. This changes everything. This culture hugs, kisses, squeezes, holds your arm, touches your hair - it's one of the reasons I feel so at home with the people I've known for years in Chiquilá. They have such a free trust that they are loved and that they love you that the hugs are always.

Finally (for now), life as a family.  This group (minus Marcella who was not pictured above), was a family together for almost 2 months. We navigated amazing and challenging moments and did it with a heart that was unified in loving the 12 that God had brought us. We were excited for adventure, open to new things, honest in struggles, and we laughed a lot.  

These are some of the many pieces of this summer that made it so special. I'm grateful. It's hard to be away from these things, but yes, I am grateful. 

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