Monday, January 13, 2014

Praying for Guatemala - The Four Questions

As the chaplain for the Surgical Team Trip to Retalhuelu (#388), I am supposed to deliver the reflection before each orientation and then do devotionals twice a day during the trip.  At the first orientation, I posed four questions for people to think about:

What excites you about this work?
What makes you nervous about this work?
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What is/are your passion(s) for this work?
What might be your bias(es) for this work?

I don't know where these questions came from - they just popped into my head.

Yesterday during our second orientation, I asked people to share what their reflections had been during the intervening month.  One person talked about feeling confident that since she had been on trips to Nicaragua, she felt she would "know" what it was like.  In the same breath, she confessed, that she knew things would be different, and it made her a little nervous.

Other people talked about their passion for serving God's people, their fear of the unknown, and feeling unsure about things like malaria.  As I struggled to get people back from the "technical" aspects of vaccinations toward self-reflection, I realized I had done precious little reflecting myself.

I know what excites me also makes me nervous.  I feel excited about participating in God's "new thing" that God is doing in Guatemala. (Isaiah 43:19)  It also scares the crap out of me.  All of my insecurities come rushing to the fore.

What I haven't thought a lot about, is where my biases might be.  What preconceived notions might I have?  What Western biases will I be bringing with me to Guatemala?  Definitely seems to me, that this is where my personal prayers need to be focused this week in addition to praying for the docs and the coffee trade.  Lord, help me to be honest with myself so that I may embrace your people freely.

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