Tuesday, November 28, 2006


well, i went "home" to the states for about three weeks and returned to "home" here in guatemala just a couple weeks ago. i was not sure how this whole transition was going to go, starting with the return to the "land of plenty" where i was sure culture shock would overcome me the moment i stepped off the plane, (thankfully, my layover was in miami where absolutely everyone in the airport was speaking spanish, so it was a nice transition back into american culture... haha) and then returning to guatemala after getting to spend time with close friends and family that i will not see for many more months. however, God is gracious, and over the past month i have learned that whatever cliche phrase home is, it does not involve a geographical location.

i got to spend much time with friends and family, people that i have learned will be friends of mine for life, no matter how long we go without talking or seeing each other. relationships that i have learned go beyond being able to relate to each other or understand everything that is happening in the other person's life. relationships that are built on trust and love and grace.

and so as i returned to guatemala, a place that is feeling like home more and more each day, i realized that i do not have to leave one home for the sake of another, but that in some strange way, i find my home amidst all of these relationships - old ones, new ones, family ones, friend ones, long-distance ones, and ones that are a part of my everyday life. and i don't think i realized this to its full capacity until the end of these past two weeks here.

it has been one of those "depths of life" periods since the moment i returned. we have had several patients and/or friends die and several other intense circumstances where i was pretty sure others were going to die and we had no control over it. and it has been daily. this is the time of fiesta (the end of harvest celebration that often involves a lot of drinking, withcraft and other craziness) and you can feel the spiritual warfare in the air. and so we have kept going, day in and day out, some days better than others, standing confident in the strength of God alone, sure that He is walking beside us and bringing about His kingdom in the midst of it all. and it has been scary, challenging, stretching, humbling...and yet renewing, strengthening, deepening and has forced me continue to pray ephesians 6:10-18 through each of these moments.

and i know that without my friends and family, those who love me and support me, those who have helped give me a "home," both near and far, recent friendships or long-standing ones, it would be a lonely fight day in and day out. three weeks was too short to get to see all who i wish i could have, and there are many who i did not get to "catch up with" personally or verbally. so, to all who are reading this, thank you for pouring into my life the way you have and are. thank you for being a witness to God's faithfulness in times when i have a hard time seeing it myself.

to steal a phrase from someone, "home is where the heart is." as i find my heart in many different places, this past month has been a great reminder to me about how richly blessed i am to be able to experience true christian community the way i do - people who are all with me in a sense no matter where i find myself. i know that there are many people who will never experience this on this earth... i thank God that i have the life i have.