Friday, March 7, 2014

Day Break

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
One of the many peacocks at
our hotel in Reu
I sit alone surrounded by light and the murmur of male voices.  Dawn is threatening to break.  The dark, just beyond the patio, embraces me in quiet safety.  Peacocks and roosters call and crow in a mixture of exotic and familiar.

I sit alone and am surrounded.  Plates and glasses and flatware clink and clash as the murmur becomes distinct conversations.  The smell of coffee wafts in my direction.

In many ways, all seems unusual and dream-like: the tropical landscape, the volcanos on the horizon, the now fairly understandable Spanish.  I talked about this trip for months - to family, church members, co-workers and to anyone who would listen.  Perhaps I never believed that it would really happen.  Perhaps it was like a dream told over and over again until it becomes reality and truth.  But Guatemala has indeed been my home for nearly four weeks.  The streets of Xela and the halls of Hilario Galindo are now what feels comfortable.
Team gathered for morning devotion

New voices greet my ears and the language is jolting for an instant until I remember it is my own.  Blue and green scrubs come filing into the pavilion and into our devotional space.  Some are giddy with the prospects of a new day.  Others are monotone, reaching tiredly for their caffeine served in exquisite china by dark-skinned wait staff.  The team filters into the circle of chairs, each facing the cloth in the middle of the floor which has become the diary of our joint experience.

Our Daily Devotional Diary
We were each called to this mission trip - some would say by God, others by friends, a sense of social commitment, or perhaps duty.  It doesn't really matter.  Thirty beings from 3,400+ miles to the north somehow - most with no or limited relationships with anyone else on the team - found themselves united in purpose.  We were called to live out the mission of our institution and the tenets of our faiths.  To serve the poor and vulnerable with love and compassion.

A new day breaks.  Hope is born.

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