August 17, 2010

travel update.

two dear friends of mine have recently returned home- or stateside. they traveled to two distinctly different parts of the world, one to asia and the other to central america, learning more about themselves and varying cultures than can be put to words. but what they could put to words i will share with you... now... 
photo by taylor gunter, taken in honduras. 
the words of rachel beers:
q: recap... where is it that you went? 
a: Hong Kong (a magnificent fusion of the west and east) and Vientiane, Laos (known as "the jewel of mekong"). i didn't know i would love Asia or could love Asia as much as I do now. 
q: what is it that you did there that you did NOT anticipate doing?
a:eating crickets, chicken testicals and other things that crawl {don't kitties were harmed}. On a more serious note, I didn't expect to face some of the challenges I faced leading a team. The position of leadership leaves you exposed and your shortcomings shine a little brighter, but it was so good to learn things about myself, see the world from another perspective and see what God is doing in Asia- which is another story in itself. 

q: in reflection, what was the greatest lesson you have found that you learned? 
a: still processing and will be for awhile, but one thing has been if you seek to understand people you cannot fail to love them
the words of taylor gunter:
Recap: I went to a little town called Comayaguela in the mountains on Honduras, about two hours away from Tegucigalpa, the capitol. I worked at Orphanage Emmanuel which is one of the biggest orphanages in all of Honduras, and also all of Central America. 

What did I do that I did not anticipate doing: When I got to the orphanage, we had our orientation meeting. They mentioned that the older girls/boys were a little harder to get in with, due to either their extreme circumstances, or the grand lack of consistency in their lives- them having been there their entire life and having constant groups in and out of their lives. Trust isn't something they give freely if at all. The next day when we recieved our jobs, I got... older girls kitchen. I was a little discouraged having just heard the difficulty of them letting me in, but the Lord quickly reminded me His power is perfectly manifested in my weakness. After meeting the girls, I knew it wasn't  going to be the easiest thing in the world- given the language barrier, the fact that I was working in the ktichen & am not a cook, the insane amount of manual labor, and the pure fact that they didn't really care if I was there or not. I came in thinking I was just going to play with kids and have a grand ole time- which I did, but the Lord had much more in store for me. He was going to strecth me more than I could have ever imagined, and strip me ALL of my comfort zones, so that I would solely depend upon Him. It's crazy what happens when that takes place.
What I learned: When I literally gave everything about these relationships with these girls to the Lord, amazing things started happening. One of the staff actually said to me, "this whole bond you have with the older girls is funny. They love you & it certainly doesn't make sense."  I remember walking away from that conversation crying. It didn't make sense. Why did they chose to let me in? I thank the Lord everyday He allowed that to happen. They taught me more than I could have ever imagined. They are the epitome of strength & grace. They walk in faith, literally, because they have nothing else other than the Lord. It's beautiful. Post-trip I've learned that the Lord is the same here & there, always and forever. The God I saw show up in huge ways in Honduras can do the same thing right here. I've learned I must be expectant for that. Trusting Him to provide. My comfort is in Him alone, things may change, but He never does. I must abide constantly in Him, for apart from Him I am nothing.
where there is love {in asia or central america or in your own backyard), 
there is art. 

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