Transition. Transition. Transition. I feel like just when we think, “Whew. Ok, we’re through that. Now we can get a little break and back to a routine.” And that’s when more change and transition happens. Our family definitely doesn’t know what boring is. We just closed the mission house that we had used for teams, taking in kids who needed a safe place, youth group, kids’ club, and hosting 35 people for our wedding. We transformed that house from not livable to a place we called home. Many laughs, tears, and everything in between happened in that house. Now, we are preparing the house that Peter and I have since being married to welcome the kids (and dogs). In the process of moving (never knew we had so much stuff in that mission house!), we have had to change some things up to accommodate having kids’ club, youth, and clinics. Thankfully, Peter has some awesome family who have let us use their space to do clinic. And we have had youth group in some of the kids’ houses (tin shack) each week. This whole transition and move has been a trying time, causing us to feel downright exhausted. A lot of hard work, emotionally draining as well. But people say, “It takes a village.” Well, I witnessed that firsthand how the youth kids came and helped to tear down the showers, carry concrete, clean up, take this transition in stride and had fun doing it. This community is amazing. The people and kids we work with definitely have our backs. All because of relationships. Relationships are so important in this life. God didn’t have us go through it by ourselves. Our ministry is BOOMING and GROWING...FAST! And a lot of it has to do with the relationships we have with people, people God put in our paths on purpose. The clinics we have: we don’t just find a complaint, give meds, and shove them out the door. We listen. We care. We pray with them and find any way we can help them. We even have patients coming from all over the country because of word of mouth. Kids’ club and youth group: again, relationships. Getting to know them personally, giving them a safe place to come if they need to talk, cry, get a break from whatever issues/abuse they are going through. We have had numerous kids who have lost a parent recently and we try to be there for them and show we love and care about them. Recently, we have started a soccer team and they are quickly becoming family as well. We do our best to show them the love of Jesus. We are so grateful for the relationships God has provided for us through this ministry. When I decided to move, I never dreamed of majority of the things that have happened, or the relationships that have been made, and not just the relationships we have formed here in Guatemala, but also with our supporters in the States. I have received emails from people I have never met before who want to help, want to visit, want to bring a team, want to send an encouraging message and pray for us. We have received donations from people we have never met before. We are so so so so grateful for each and every one of you!
The night we went as a family with some of the youth kids to the Hillsong concert, I had mentioned that it changed a lot of the kids’ lives. Really spoke to them and helped them to heal. And bonded us as a family. And of course, it was a fun night out to forget about all the issues this life brings for each of us. But that concert changed me as well. The words spoken, the songs were all ones that I needed to hear then and still have them going through my head. We play those songs constantly while in the car and just when fear, anxiety, how are we going to pay for ____, the what if’s come into my head, the words spoken that night, the lyrics of the songs pop into my head and peace sets in, right where it belongs. God used that night, those songs, and words spoken to speak to me and is still using them to get me through this uncertainty, this transition period, this time of adjusting for our family and this ministry. Songs about how Jesus is the keeper of peace and anxiety will fall away. No matter if we are in a high or low point of our lives, God will be right beside us and He’s too good to let us go. Joy is a choice. Sometimes we have to fight for it, but we have that choice to choose joy, no matter what our circumstances are. God is always faithful. He’s proven it again and again, so we can trust him with what comes next. And every little thing is going to be all right. Everything. He knows everything about us, more than we know ourselves. So we just need to surrender and give him total control. Easier said than done....but I’m trying to work on it.
This past week, we had the honor having an awesome former co-worker and friend here. We shared lots of laughs, tears, and many life changing memories made. Every time we host visitors, I just love the relationships that are strengthened and to see their view of our every day life: clinic, kids, youth, what these kids experience and deal with on a daily basis, the conditions they live in, how these kids just need someone to love them and be there for them, how the patients are so grateful for even the smallest things. This past week, we told someone who had tons of tests done prior to meeting us and is losing function quickly that he has multiple sclerosis (MS) and that there is no cure and will only get worse. You know what they did? They thanked us. Thanked us for being nice, giving medications for pain, for explaining what was going on and why he was losing function, for finally giving them an answer (many hospitals even if they have the diagnosis from the tests won’t tell the patient what it is and just send them home. Or they will say the diagnosis, but won’t explain anything about it and what the patient is to do to care for themselves. And we have had many who were given a false diagnosis and/or wrong medications, harming the patient).
A lot of healing happened this week for our visitor and for us. It left us with renewed joy, hope, life, and energy to tackle each day. Lots of changes. Lots of transitions. But God provided us with the relationships to help pull us through each day, and ultimately God is our strength to deal with whatever comes our way.