The end of my stay here is in sight. 7 more full days! I have mixed feelings. I miss home, I miss my family & my close friends. However, the challenges I face here make me view myself, the future, the people around me & the world in general, in a new light. I like the new perspective I am gaining. As much as I have often despised the amount of down time I have here, it has allowed me to sort through several things in my life. Many of which were long over due. I don't want to allow myself again to become so emerged in the grind of school & work that I neglect seeking, questioning, writing, etc.
God gives us life, not just to live in order to get from one day to the next, but to live in FULL. Alive! Aware, learning, stretching, being transformed by the renewing of our minds. I don't want to fall back into patterns I have had at home.
Over the past few days, Beth & I have had so many incredible conversations. We are discovering how extremely alike we are & having fun bouncing stories about ourselves back & forth & comparing how we have handled certain situations. She has offered me a lot of useful advice, some I couldn't have gotten from any of my peers. It is certain, these 2 months have taught me the importance of having friendships with older people. People who are willing to be honest & willing to shed light on areas of life you have not yet discovered or fully understood. I hope to invest more in these types of friendships when I return home.
I visited the barrio I mentioned in my previous post, Barrio Esejo. It was, as I expected, an eye opening experience. Sure, you can read stories & view pictures about the poverty in the world, but nothing equals the experience & knowledge you gain from seeing those places with your own eyes, hugging & kissing the people or smelling the odor they live in every day. It was humbling. Claudia has an amazing compassion for reaching these people, especially the young people. After inroducting me to the boys & girls there she would explain to me their stories, tell me which drug they smelt like, why they had resorted to them & how she hoped to help them. It was heart renching to meet the 12 & 14 year old drug dealers. & heart renching to meet their younger siblings, who unless helped, will most likely fall into the same traps in life. Please pray for Claudia & her ministry to the drug addicts.