Wednesday, February 02, 2011

New Dreams

To My Most Amiable Readers...

For a long time (says the 31 year-old with a smirk, really? I know anything about time yet?), I've dreamed of seeing the Strait of Magellan, Torres del Paine (those gigantic granite towers that poke out of the earth at alarming rates of ascent), Tierra del Fuego, and Machu Picchu in Peru. With the last few months those dreams have come true, some through using all of our allotted vacation up and going on a fly-by-the-seats-of-our-respective-pants road trip, and the other (Machu Picchu) through taking a group trip after a missionary conference in Lima. These dreams did not disappoint when they came flying at me in all their reality. Indeed not...they made me weep with joy. You see, there's a good deal of Indiana Jones in me. I want to live an adventure, and really, I do get to do just that on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Dodging ships and sea lions in rowing, interviewing an earthquake victim INSIDE their wildly unstable destroyed home. Holding my clean rowing pants on a gushing knife wound on a stranger's head while scolding the attacker and the crowd forming around us. Adventure.

I thought of that after the freezing cold swim I took this evening in a nearby lake. As I lay on the rocks on the shore, panting and uncontrollably shivering, I realized....I enjoy this. I love feeling so very.....FULLY ALIVE!!!!

Now...I do like to cuddle up in cozy pants with a book and something yummy to eat in a fuzzy blanket while the rain is falling outside...BUT...I feel fully alive elsewhere. Like when I'm flying down a ski slope and there's a good chance that I might wreck spectacularly. That adrenaline rush of driving fast (there was no speed limit on the highways in MT when I got my license...). Even eating something firey hot and breaking into a sweat. ALIVE.

There's a good chance I was made this way for a reason.

We are dreaming a new dream, and it (Lord willing) will be set in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It's a crazy city; known as the city of "eternal spring", as it is high up in the mountains, so endures less of the equatorial heat than the plains. There is crushing poverty. There is staggering wealth. There aren't enough people in between. We can't use public buses there, as they are routinely robbed by gangs. We will be starting an entirely new type of job. Does anyone smell adventure??

Many churches call EMM, our sending mission, asking if a group from their church can go and help somewhere on the field in practical or spiritual ways. Unfortunately, hosting teams of non-Spanish speaking people is a full time job for on-site missionaries. It basically means that a lot of what the missionary was involved in needs to be set aside to help the visitors help others. Now, Central America, on average, has five major natural disasters EVERY YEAR. Whether it be mudslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. A cheap flight away from Central America lies North America, a country full to the brim with enthusiastic, compassionate Christian brothers and sisters who would love to be a help to people in need. What is needed is a couple in place to receive teams in Central America.

Let's preface this ALL in "Lord-willing". Now, our vision is to form a hospitality base where we receive international teams and give them a 2-3 day orientation in working in Latin America (do's, don'ts, and how to kiss greet non-awkwardly, ha!). Then we would send them out to assignments, whether in disaster relief, construction projects for churches, or working with the kids who work in the trash dumps in La Ceiba. Dustin would accompany them sometimes, or one of our coworkers would go (we are praying for a bilingual Honduran!). Sometimes I will go as a photojournalist/translator. There's a lot happening in Central America, as our boss Steve Shank says, "And nobody is writing it down!"

After their trips, the teams would return to the base for debriefing, prayer, and send-off. When not receiving teams, we would be meeting with reps from the Amor Viviente Church and the Honduran Mennonite Church to assess gravest needs, etc. Both churches have affirmed the necessity of this new role.

We are looking at one year of home leave, then trying to head to Tegucigalpa. During our home leave we are looking into Dustin taking classes in water purification, solar panels, and other skills. I'm looking into photo journalism courses and photography classes. We are also praying about work for Dustin so that we will only need half support while home.

Phew! Sounds like an adventure to me!!

Your Most Devoted,