Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 (NIV)
Home Again. Arrived safely back from Guatemala late last night and had to get up this morning and help with a Sunday School class dinner and auction. Thankfully I wasn’t in charge, but since the funds raised at events like that helped to pay for a portion of my two trips to Guatemala this year, I needed to be there even if I was exhausted, foggy brained and aching. No, I really didn’t want to be there. Nor did I want to be at home in bed. I wanted to be waking up to a view of a volcano and wild poinsettias. I wanted to go to breakfast where they serve scrambled eggs with salsa and fresh squeezed orange juice. I wanted to be in a country of contrasts where people live in mansions on hillsides overlooking shacks make of cardboard and corrugated metal. I wanted to be sitting on a bus with twenty-four other women most of whom I had never met a week ago, but who are like sisters to me. Are sisters in Christ to me. I wanted to be surrounded by toddlers even the screaming ones. I wanted to be embracing a child with dark hair and eyes who looked at me with love even though she didn’t know my name. I wanted to see a three year old walk for the first time because he is finally healthy and strong enough to do so. I wanted to work alongside women who did not speak my language but who try to understand what I say in very limited Spanish and then, chatter away an answer that I have no idea what it is. I wanted to have a line of children in front of me waiting to be fed and know that there was enough food for them to have seconds. I wanted to walk outside after everyone was finally down for their nap and feel the cool air on my face and know the satisfaction of a good morning’s work. I wanted to see a crowd of children waving goodbye as we left for the day. I wanted to spend an evening strolling through a market full of brightly colored textiles, pottery and beads. I wanted to be so challenged that I fell into bed exhausted. And I wanted to know that tomorrow I could do it all over again. But, I can’t. Because I had to come home. I thought it would be easier to leave this time because I know I will be back in March. I will return to the Center in less than six months. But, it was still very hard. The Center is operating so efficiently now that instead of taking eighteen months to bring the children to health, they are ready to go home in six months. It is likely that all the children except the ones with special needs will not be there when I return. There will be new faces in the cribs because there are children waiting for a bed. And that is why I will go back. I’m counting the days.