|Juanita, Jorge and Eduardo|
|Bili’s family (Papa and three sisters are at home)|
|Bili’s Mom and Me (taken by Bili)|
|Bili plays with his tiger|
|Christy, Husband and me|
I plan so long for a trip to Guatemala, buy supplies, pack carefully and rearrange my work schedule, then, we get on the plane and before we know it, it is time to go home again. I always think of the children’s rhyme, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig.” This trip, I was blogging for Orphans Heart again so didn’t take the time to post on my own blog. Here is what I would have said if there had been time.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12
You would think after nine trips to Guatemala, I had seen it all. But, I hadn’t. On this the tenth trip, I finally got to see lava spew out of the volcano and feel the tremor of an earthquake. I was glad husband was with me to experience it. I had seen the Volcano Fuego “puffing” many times. During the day, if you watch, there are pillars of smoke and steam coming from its top. Usually, they are white clouds, but sometimes, they are gray or black depending on the intensity of the blast. Sometimes at night, we would stare longingly at the volcano which looks like a high peaked mountain hoping to see the red glow of lava. On occasion, I have been roused from bed to go out and look, but I had never been “lucky” enough to see it. This trip, however, early in the week as we were walking outside to devotions, we heard a boom like fireworks and not only saw the red glow, but an explosion of lava reaching into the air and a red trail of lava working its way down the mountainside. Though clouds sometimes blocked our view, we saw the same display several other times during the week. It would have been scary if we hadn’t been told by our friends in Antigua that there was no harm to us so far away from the volcano. One night, I had already gone to bed and husband was in the bathroom. He saw the shower curtain start to shake and we felt the room sway. “What was that?” I asked. “A tremor,” he replied and we silently counted to make sure it did not last more than 30 seconds, our key to get in a doorway for protection. It would have been scary if husband had not been so calm. The next morning, we learned that the earthquake was over 80 miles away in the ocean far below the water’s surface. I did not know that earthquakes and volcanoes are not related. One does not cause the other. Guatemalans take both with little concern, it is a part of life to them. A reminder that the earth is not under their control, nor is life. As I reflected on our experiences, I thought about Elijah and how he found God not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire, but in the gentle whisper. I am grateful for those gentle whispers not only from God, but from the ones that He puts in my life to help calm and console me. Husband is known as a quiet man. One who puts his actions where many put their mouth. He just quietly does what needs to be done with little fanfare. I so enjoyed his company this week. I slept the best I have ever slept on a trip to Guatemala. I didn’t feel like I had to be in charge. Nor was I afraid. Even in the volcano and the earthquake.