We have sort of ended our entry phase here. By that I mean we have a car, have our services turned on, got our dog caught up on vet care and have almost all the bags unpacked. We're trying to get our house in order before we start language school on Monday. The garage is another deal but it, like most garages, may have to wait.
It's been very different this time around. We're with a mission agency that has close to 40 missionaries here and we already had a house and a life to come back to. We're not starting from scratch and that makes the transition a lot smoother - still hard, but it takes a lot less time to refresh connections than to forge new ones. My Spanish is atrocious, but it will get better. Poco a poco - little by little.
We were given a book called "Burgess of Guatemala" written by the granddaughter of Paul Burgess, a missionary here in Xela in the early 1900's until his death. It's amazing to read because he and his little family endured incredible hardship to come and serve and proclaim the gospel here in the town where I now live. We attend the church he helped establish. He was a Presbyterian missionary and he along with scores of others laid the foundations upon which the whole reason for us being here is laid. CAM missionaries endured the same diseases and political upheaval, the same stones of persecution in order to establish the work of the gospel in this high mountain place. And now we come here with all the modern conveniences, medicine, communication and resources - to build upon the foundation of others.
And were it not the Lord doing the work I would feel far too inept, ill-equipped and immature to even consider this. And if it were about me, that would be a problem. But it's not about me. It's not about how much we have or have not suffered. It makes no difference if we came here by mule-drawn carriage or air-conditioned minivan. The Lord puts us (all of us) where we are and that's where we are supposed to serve and do the good work He has for us. We're in Guatemala to train and encourage and disciple leaders. We're also here to love our neighbors, to raise a family and love the Lord above all else. And that's the same no matter where we will be. You too are where you are. You attend a church probably established by someone else (although some of you have the really cool story of establishing a church that you still attend). And yet our responsibility in this life is to serve where the Lord has us until He brings us home. For now, we serve in a foreign land - all of us who claim Christ as Lord and Savior - and while we long for home we can serve together in the presence of The Lord who has us where we are.