Good morning from Norfolk Nebraska. Hola to Aqua Viva in El Salvador. You are all greatly missed. I have been trying to get myself together, or rather keep myself together, since leaving El Salvador on Saturday. There are so many emotions that are hard to describe and keep track of as they zing explosively through your heart and mind and body as I enter back into everyday life. And that's just it, every day life is now different and new and crazy and heartbreaking and loving and...amazing.
The song "Amazing" by One Eskimo was on my heart as I checked into the El Salvador airport, and I must have played it 20+ times on the plane rides back home. It may be the one word I heard more than any throughout the trip. I know that I heard it from every team members lips multiple times. I pay attention to these collective thoughts...amazing.
I have tears in my eyes this morning. Could be that I am finally relenting to exhaustion, or could be an overwhelming feeling of love and beauty, or I could just be nuts. Probably a combination of all of them :) . I went to Haiti last year on a mission trip, but something about this trip and the Aqua Viva team and the El Salvador culture really spoke to my soul on a molecular level. I reacted and continue to react to what transpired on this mission. I speak of love and beauty quite a bit, and my painting(s) are an example of a gift of creative beauty realized. The beauty of life and community and love and creativity and, well, there are too many words to describe what we all witnessed and were invited to be a part of/give our energy to over the course of the week...amazing.
I got very ill on the trip, yet I have nothing but incredible memories. I can get cranky and resentful, and the enemy can really search out weakness and jump on it while on these trips. Lets face it, its hard to go on vacation with your family without getting a little annoyed at times with each other. The enemy would love to have us focus on this, and not the joy of what we witnessed during the week, or the faces we looked at/into. Ah the faces, of the children, of the community, of the Aqua Viva team, (a little sigh with a smile) of our team <3. I believe we won that battle in the end. I learned after the Haiti trip that my body needed to be more physically fit for this trip, and it was by far. The enemy attacked my body with illness, yet for the most part, I was able to work on the jobsite and know that I executed/contributed more than in Haiti. I also know, and I quote the famous song here, you get by with a little help from your friends...amazing.
I am still moved by the school: the principal, the head teacher, the teachers, the students, the men and women from the community. From the day we entered their world, you could sense, with every synapse in your body, that their faith in God to bring them clean water, was on the horizon. They knew to their core what this water was going to mean to them, what it was going to do/inspire/create. It is life, and they knew it was right there, they just needed the tools. Unimaginable in my limited thinking that God would use a sinner such as myself to be a very small, but useful piece of his master plan for these sweet and wonderful people. Not only did they treat all of us with delight, but they fed us every day with the best of what they had to offer. That is sabbath, and that is so so beautiful...amazing.
We were not alone on this trip, as I know without your prayers for us, your memories and thoughts of us, your energy and goodwill for us, your faith that with God's guidance and supervision, that we could accomplish this task...you are all amazing.
I use "I" as I write this because I don't want to put my words to the other team members stories of the trip. However, we were a team, and a complicated little puzzle of strengths and weaknesses that came together to teach health and hygiene to children and drill over 220 feet in one day in the mountains of El Salvador to find water for a community of hope...amazing.