I didn’t have to say yes to Guatemala. God would have loved me just the same.
But I said no last year.
This year I wanted to try something different. (Thanks for wrecking my world, Alene!)
So with my yes, God walks me Thursday into the alleys of the Guatemala City garbage dump community, dodging swarming flies and mud puddles and dog refuse (now I understand why Angela said wear closed-toe shoes). The landfill here is one of the largest and most toxic in Central America.
God sits me down in a home where children take care of children because daddy is dead and mama is off washing used water bottles pulled from the dump. On their best days, the thousands who dig through this mountain of trash all day, every day, recover something useful for themselves or to recycle for income, a piece of cardboard or metal or plastic.
- Does it stink? Yes.
- Does it make me cry? Yes.
- Does it get me messy? Yes.
But seeing with my own eyes, touching with my own hands, praying with my own words (well, words translated graciously through Laura of Potter’s House), stamps a determined hope on my heart.
On Friday, my yes goes to VBS in a small dirty space with messy kids and runny noses. As our beautiful young ladies tell the story in Spanish of Jesus calming the storm (and let the kids practice saying “storm!” in English), a long-haired girl quietly pulls in closer and tighter where we sit on the ground until her body presses into my side. I slip my arm around her and she places her face on my hand so I’ll touch her cheek.
I could say no.
But I still feel the holiness of the yes.
One child in one moment with one me.
The Saturday morning walk to the grandpas’ home (our “nursery home” equivalent, oh how we love Luis) is a yes for the aged.
- Yes—for us playing Uno, saying numbers and colors in Spanish, with a dear man who never quite gets the rules but has great fun anyway (and he wins! with a little help)
- Yes—for my friends washing the residents’ clothes by hand and hanging them out on the roof to dry
- Yes—for our ladies painting grandmas’ fingernails and handing out socks and candies and prayers
A no would have been acceptable.
But these yeses are inspired.
Would the 300 bags of staples for needy families still have been packed if I I had been there? The party for the Treasures pulled off as seamlessly? The cafeteria lunch been served as joyfully? Of course.
God didn’t need me to accomplish any of these things. With or without me, the good goes on.
But he asked me. He allowed me. He used me.
And I’ll never be the same.
All because of a yes.
* * *
Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and my teammates before and during this trip. Know that God heard your prayers and answered with a yes. I treasure you!
What is God calling you to say yes to in your week? I’d love to hear in the comments.
- Mini-reviews: Books I read in September
- On the blog – September 2014