Saturday, November 23, 2013

David Alvarez city ministry

Hi everybody!! Isabella here...
   Pietro is reading the MY book. Paolo is using MY phone, Emma is using MY toothbrush, and my mom wants to try and knit MY socks.
   Before we left, I'll admit that I was very nervous.Understandable, but they were self-centered nerves. It's hard to leave school- I'll have all that make-up work!- and my friends on swim team- I'll be so out of shape!- and the comforts of home.
    Yet isn't that what this trip is about? To learn-again- that things are not all about me. Because most of the people here are not able to read, brush their teeth with clean water, communicate with their friends with a phone, go to school, be part of a swim team. But at the same time, their lives are so much simpler, and we can't help but ask ourselves the question: Who is better off?
   Once we arrived, I knew I would be excited. I love traveling. I love adventure. The feelings I get from being somewhere new in the world, having new experiences, and meeting new people is invigorating. As soon as the plane landed, I could feel my heart swell with happiness. And even more than the new sights, sounds, smells (not all of them pleasant- did you know that burning garbage smells like pot?), it's the people who catch my eye. Especially the children.

Volcano Aqua

David's church entrance (Centro Cristiano Cultural de Guatemala)

view from David's church #1

view from David's church #2 (yes, those are shacks on a ravine)

   We have spent the last few days learning about the mission work David Alvarez and his family do here in Guatemala. David makes it clear that this is God's ministry, not his. A gifted storyteller, his tales are miraculous examples of the true grace and providence of God. When you're doing His work, He will provide. It's the everyday miracles, of the Lord never giving more than is needed at a particular time, that allow them to run a successful ministry serving about 3,000 children. For some reason, those simple miracles abound in Guatemala, more than they do in Colorado- or is it just that we are paying more attention because of the lack of distractions?
   At lunch the kids from Rio Dulce arrived at the church here in the city. The idea that Paolo could have been one of them- would have been one of them, if we hadn't adopted him- blew my mind. They looked just like him. He may have Q'eqchi blood, but he is thoroughly American. I wonder how it feels for him. He doesn't mention it, but I think he notices a lot.

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