After about a week of being a bit displaced, through the blessing of the Lord, as well as the hard work of our fearless director, we made our way to our new site. We are now working and living with an organization called Armonía that helps provide education to indigenous students.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Ever since Michael and I arrived on-site at Daa’s household, we have been slowly compiling a list of deal breakers that would send us home immediately. It was a fool’s errand. Every time we added something to the list, we would unexpectedly find ourselves doing that very thing we promised ourselves we would never do, just a couple of days later.
When Jesus walked the earth, he didn’t teach his disciples how to lead a Bible study. Nor did he teach them how to convert people. Jesus didn’t send his students to seminary or to ministry-training conferences. No. His heart was set on the far more important things. When Jesus walked the earth, he taught his disciples how to love.
This past week, I was able to engage with poverty at my site. My team met up with our host moms to deliver gifts to a couple of their friends. Together, we walked across the slums to places we’d never been to before. Everything was very new and very shocking. The neighborhood was made up of rows of shacks, stretched underneath a gigantic freeway. A famous railroad track ran between them. The houses are literally built from slabs of cement, planks of wood, and/or rope.
The first week of living with women in the slum community was full of surprises. There have been experiences that revealed more of the Kingdom of God in unexpected ways but there have also been many instances that spoke truth to Satan’s possession of the earth.
We just finished our week of orientation in Thailand and many of us are already getting floored with challenging questions and heavy convictions. A consistent tension that has been mutually shared among the team is the balance of noticing and appreciating the beauty of the city while simultaneously acknowledging its brokenness. It is a tricky spectrum to navigate.
“Didi, didi!” (Sister, sister!) I heard a child’s voice calling out behind me and it sounded like it was getting closer and closer to me. This was one of the first days I was at a mega train station here in South Asia. What I saw was a scene my mom had described to me over and over again when I was younger, but actually seeing it was completely different and it broke me in ways I never imagined it would.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had an abrupt change of plans, so now we’re back in Mexico City and in an awkward limbo between where we had been, and where we’re going next. It feels pretty weird to be back where we had orientation, in the city, particularly after having lived in markedly different living conditions for a week. A part of me is ready to go and serve and be where we get placed next, but a part of me is also cautious, wanting to stay on guard with new relationships and interactions to come.