“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another”.
I have been back in Antigua, Guatemala for just over a month, now. Even as I type that out, I’m taken aback by it. That’s not a huge amount of time, by any means. Yet, it often feels like a lot longer. As quickly as I wonder how that could be, I receive the answer in both my mind and heart.
Thirty-four days ago I came back to Guatemala and thirty-four days ago I was adopted into a new family. This family is made up of the twenty-nine training interns of IGNITE Class 13, five serving interns of IGNITE Class 12, and the staff, all living here on property. Entering into a new family can be a daunting task. Not only can that, in and of itself, be difficult, but I would find myself the newest member of a family that came together two months prior to my coming. I truly had no qualms about my late arrival. I was beyond at peace coming back, knowing it is exactly where the Lord would have me during this time.
I guess the only way to describe what I’m feeling right now, is to say that I was blown away by the way my new family took me in.
This morning we said good-bye to the training interns. And it hurt. It was sad. But I’ve always been encouraged that the distinct ache felt deep in your chest as you wave others on into the season of their lives means that you invested. It means that you bonded and that you care. And as I received hugs and wiped tears away at 3 am, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people really do care about me. They embraced me into this family, took the time to get to know me, asked me questions, we shared laughs and shared tears. My heart hurts this morning as I miss my family.
Thirty-four days. That’s all it took.
God works in ways I don’t always, and really more often than not, don’t understand. At times that makes me uneasy and question what, exactly, He’s doing. Yet, in this circumstance, I can say it makes me stand in awe of Him. I really can’t wrap my brain around the fact that God would bring me to live with all of these amazing people, and that we would all bond as deeply as we did. It isn’t logical that anyone could get so close in such a short amount of time. But it happened. I’m reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”.
IGNITE Class 13, thank you for loving me. Thank you for welcoming me into your family with open arms. I could never accurately express just how much you all mean to me. The only thing I have at the moment to express it is the pain. And I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful for each of your lives. I am blessed by your hearts to serve the Lord, your hearts to serve myself and the rest of the staff here, and your hearts to go out into the world and share the gospel. I love you all dearly. It was a pleasure to do life with you, and I will be praying for you all as you serve in your respective field locations.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer”.