I am like, the worst ever at this whole maintaining a blog business.
And I never have any idea what to write about. That issue persists. I put, "Blog post" on a post-it note and sit down at some point to find, yet again, I've no idea what I'm doing.
So this should be more of the norm: my giving a hasty summation of things that've happened, and then rambling about whatever I decide to ramble about halfway through.
I'm home in the States again, having arrived nearly a month ago now, on July 31st. Yes, a month ago, on top of the month of not posting anything for July while I was in Mexico. That's a two month period of being lazy about this. Shame consumes me.
Overall, I can say that I am very glad I went to teach in Mexico, and I think I made the right decision in doing what God wanted me to do. That's always a good feeling to have, when you're safe in your retrospection. I think I was better prepared for this trip than my YWAM venture (as if I could have prepared for YWAM), and things had a much less surreal quality about them as I sat on the plane heading home. I knew I would learn a new skill in teaching, and I think I did alright. At least, the students who weren't doing so well in the beginning were definitely more capable in speaking English by the end. I knew I would see a new place and culture, and I think I did an okay job at that too. Although, my Spanish could (and will, God-willing) be better.
I knew I'd meet new people, and of course that happened. The Reyna family were crazy good to me, helping me when I was sick, giving me a place to sleep when I needed it, and generally inviting me into their family. I learned so much from Shereen, who taught me how to be effective in the classroom, as well as a thousand other things that usually started with, "Do you wanna hear something weird?" No matter how often or in-depth I thought I'd prepared myself for her catching me off-guard, she surprised me every single time. If you ever want an off-the-wall conversation and someone who's up for anything, it's Shereen. Last but not least is my roommate for the time I was there, who I won't name out of respect for his crazy disapproval of leaving a virtual trail. I seriously lucked out as far as roommates go. We could so freely pray, worship, exercise, work, do whatever with the other around, and there was never a time I felt I wouldn't have a place to go and decompress. So many good conversations about God and life, I lost so many hours of sleep. Throw in all the other people, 1-2-4 Project, the Basiles, Olaf, the Crossroads Fellowship team that came down, those who served at El Pozo, and the people even rank above tortas and climbing volcanos in the list of things that I loved about my time in Puebla. And tortas are tough to beat.
So in the end, I have to look back and ask myself what God was teaching me, why he brought me there, what I know of him I didn't before, and things that he changed in me through the trip. So what was he teaching me? Well, patience, for sure, the kids I taught made that a necessity. I also know that it was valuable practice in picking up a challenge I wasn't quite prepared for, and adapting to a culture that I'm not used to. Generosity was another thing, surrounded by the people I worked with, and it was really cool to see something I've asked God for be developed in such a way that I could see the difference.
I was surprised when, some time in early July, I thought that God was telling me he was sending me to Raleigh whenever I prayed. At first I was just excited, "Yes! Sending me home sounds so easy." I just sort of passed by thinking it might be more than just permission to go back to where I came from. But, as time went on, I think he got pretty adamant about the fact I wasn't just, "going home", he was sending me to Raleigh. NC was the platform he sent me to Mexico by, and Mexico was going to be the platform he sent me to Raleigh.
Which brings us to the present (almost). Relationships and opportunities he's opened up for me since coming back fill me joyful hope, and a curious feeling of being small. How he chooses to use me is up to him. Of course, I get to be a part of it and that's awesome and I can't grasp yet how good he is to me, but it sort of makes me feel small in a very comfortable way. I am an instrument, I'm not the main character, it's not my story. It's interesting how you can learn the same lesson but with a different flavor. With YWAM the major theme was that I walk my path with God and it's just me and him and whoever he brings along the way for certain times and places. But this time, it is that I am really very small in my own path with him, and this is his walk we're going on, not mine.
Now that July's post is actually done, I suppose I have to give a post for this month too, before it's over. Which means, time to write myself a reminder on a post-it note, this way I can be prepared.
Don't get your hopes up, but I'll try my best.
P.S. - A very big thank you goes to all the people who supported me, you can expect a more personalized token of my gratitude in a bit by mail, now that I'm back in the swing of things here. To have people willing to pray for me as well as support me financially is ridiculous to think about, and there were many times when I would rest in the knowledge I wasn't alone, that the family that Jesus has given me was with me the whole way. You all know who you are, and God knows who you are, and I pray for and fully expect him to bless you for it. If you need any prayer from me, don't be afraid to let me know somehow, it would be my privilege.
Adventure is out there.