It was like coming home.
Not because I knew the place so well or because I have been missing it for 12 years. Because I had been called. It took a few days to figure that out. I knew God had put this team together, and I knew we were needed there, but it took me a while to figure out that the unending sense of peace came from knowing that I was - in that moment - in the very heart of God's will for me.
I don't live all of my life in the center of where God wants me. I know that. I'm no different from anyone else; I fail - and sometimes I willfully disobey. But at this point, in this place, I had said yes and I obeyed. And God blessed that.
So here I was, in the midst of a trip that I suddenly realized was much bigger than me or Bec or Greta Jo or anyone else who had been a part of putting this thing together. On Sunday before church, Becca and I took a walk, attempting to find Greta Jo's hotel (little did we know we were about as far away as possible in Antigua). We rounded a corner and I said to Becca, "Wait! I've been here. I have pictures of that building from 12 years ago." When I looked again, I bothered to read the sign: Hermano Pedro.
It is one of the cleanest, most ornate looking buildings in all of Antigua. A hospital. An orphanage. A little tiny church. And there it was - the reason we were here. The reason we had traveled so far, had met strangers, and had opened our hearts to God at work in each of us.
Back at church, I met two people who would become instant sisters - Greta Jo and Mary Margaret. It didn't take more than 10 minutes of conversation with them to have my heart opened and my world pouring out. Over the next few days, we shared our hearts together. I grew to love them both dearly. They are a rich blessing in my life, and I cherish the time we had together.
Ok, so the part I know you're really DYING to hear - the kids. Before I tell you, though, I want you to go read this post by Mary Margaret. I read it Tuesday night before leaving Antigua as Madi played at my feet and MM washed the dishes. Again my heart was broken for the kids at Hermano Pedro, and I want you to hear her words before you hear mine.
Seriously. Don't read the next post until you read hers.
I mean it!