My church, St. Michael's in Roseville, partners with Cimiento in the mountains of the Queche department of Guatemala. This year was my fourth trip through the ILAG partnership. Each year brings about a different set of revelations and realizations. Over the years I've been amazed at both the similarities and the differences in life here and there; the simplicity and the complexity in both, the riches and the poverty in each country, the blessings and the tribulations in daily life.
I've realized these friends I've made are just regular people; moms taking care of families and loving their children, dads going off to work each day to provide for their families, children curious to learn and test the boundaries of the world around them. They are no different than the people in my community here, no different than my family.
And yet, though equally human, equally loved by God, equally innocent, I have been born into more privilege than they. I can afford the expense of the trip to visit them. My water supply is not contaminated and will not make me sick. My home is secure from the elements, dangers and even trivial pests like mosquitoes. Why? I cannot answer that, but my eyes have been opened to the question and the question resonates around me here in my community as well.
No one can explain to you what a trip might mean to you, what special connection you will feel, what questions you will contemplate. But I can promise that God will take this opportunity to whisper something to you, maybe you won't recognize it at first, but God won't give up, there is something important for you to hear. This partnership has been an invaluable opportunity for me to hear God's whisper and let it echo into my life; it has made me a better person and I am so very thankful for it.
St. Michael's Lutheran, Roseville