Saturday, April 6, 2013

Around the Circle

Every night while we're on this trip, much like we do with our team, we take time to share our thoughts, feelings, observations, etc.  There is so much that we take in during a week like this, sometimes it is hard to process and then be able to express it to others. Particularly after a day when we celebrate with a community: handing over keys, giving gifts, hanging on to embraces and treasuring smiles.

Tonight as we went around the circle for what is likely the last time, each one was asked to give their highlight of the week. If they wanted they could also give their "low"light and a prayer request.
You always have a choice in these matters, keep it at the surface or be vulnerable, honest and authentic with what the Lord is challenging you with. What I have come to love about this group of leaders is that they choose the latter.
(It's important to remember that no one is paid to be here, we all choose to be here; some of us don't even know why other than it seems to be the place God has called us...and He has called us together. It's also significant to note that many of us do not see each other except for this one time each year.)
This choice to be vulnerable is used of God to be a great strength for the new organization, we call "Shelter: Building Hope".
Tonight, as we went around the circle many shared their own hurts and struggles and their need for specific prayer. Together with these revelations was also the recognition that the Lord was at work and because of that awareness we could mutually encourage one another to persevere through the difficulty and uncertainty that some are facing.
There is strength available to us through the Holy Spirit when we can walk with one another through seasons of struggle and yet stay connected to the Kingdom work of God. That's the beauty and the power of what we experience.
You may never get to meet them, but I invite you to pray for this team of servant leaders. In praying give thanks for them, for the Lord has used them to refresh my spirit and energize my desire to serve Him, whether it be with my family, our church family, our community in Sarnia, our community in El Salvador or elsewhere...

Thanks for praying.

It's OK with me.

Today we presented the keys and some gifts to the families that received houses this week. Before the ceremony started I was standing talking to one of our team member when Lupita came running up to me and hugged me. She had noticed me from far away and was so excited to see me. After the ceremony, I went to say good bye to my new friend. I gave her the candy I had gotten from my birthday piƱata, and also hair elastics I had gotten too. I gave her one last hug, and then it was time to go. She waved and waved until I could no longer see her. I will really miss Lupita, but I know that God has great things in store for her and her family. Maybe one day I will be able to see her again.

There is another sweet little girl I want to tell you about. Her name is Rosemary, her mom helps Pastor Jorge's wife Maritza with the meals, so I see her everyday at breakfast and supper. There's not much I am able to say to her other than "hola" but everytime I see her I smile at her, and she smiles back. This morning at breakfast, Chris made her a balloon animal and I went over and gave it to her. As we were leaving for the day, she ran outside and gave me one of her rings. It's a simple plastic ring like most little girls have but it's something I will keep forever.

The past two afternoons has been all meetings, and although today I started to get really bored I am really thankful that my dad brought me with him. I've learned so many things this trip, and I am also thankful for the team. Most of them only see each other once a year, and they all have their own troubles going on in their lives but they all have the same goal which is to bring glory to God. That's pretty cool.

I'm only 14, but I've realized that God has used me this week even if it was only in small ways, and that is ok with me, it's all for Him anyway.


p.s. Thanks for all the prayers, it means so much to me :)