With much of the last 3 days filled with vehicle, airplane, and bus travel we all arrived home to our familiar lives. We have been very close to some extraordinary circumstances, that seem very far away and foreign to us in North American. God came very close to us when we invited Him, along with the acknowledgment that He was/is in control. We have been changed because of our personal, and group experiences. It is worth mentioning that although the feeling is comfortable being home, people and the life around us have also changed while we were away. Patience will be a key for us over the next while as all of us meld back into life, while embracing the changes.
Many times while on this trip, it was apparent that when we took time to reflect on what we saw and or how we were feeling, it enabled some great memory triggers that I hope to visit often. People are not very different anywhere in the world. We all want to love or be loved, if we haven’t been hurt so bad, as not being able to admit it.
Thank you all very much for the Prayer support and concern for us before during and now as we reenter the relationships that we cherish here.
We leave this post with one last picture of us visiting Maria. This widow’s story struck us all in very deep ways.
In 2016 the visiting team, from CrossRoads Chuch, was invited to help the local church community rebuild this lady’s home. We learned that Maria lost her husband to illness, had a son at home and had no financial means. Because of the Church Empowerment Zone that was set up under World Relief, the church denominations came together to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Many people assisted by shuttling sand, mixing the stucco, and carrying water. Near the end of the afternoon we all gathered to pray for and with this lady, along with many of the community people. What seemed bleak for Maria, gave her hope, as she was thankful and tried to smile when we left her the prayer cards that we created prior to leaving Canada.
This 2018 trip, we were also at a similar home in the next community (working in the mud) when our host, Bob from WR, wanted us to stop by and visit this lady Maria. When we pulled up, I (Richard) remembered that this was the home of Maria. Well turns out that Maria still has our prayer cards, looks at them often and prays for us. She is grateful and has faith in God and her community. Her smile was almost constant with a sparkle in her eyes. This would’ve happened without us there, but was fantastic and tears of joy flood in when we speak of it. Blessed to be that close to Maria’s story. She wanted us to bring back greetings to the church that we are a part of.
Richard, Maria and Stan