Hey everyone, its Charlene here.
In some ways it’s so hard to explain what has taken place within these past 10 days. There have been times of triumph and times of hardship, but I think that it has made all of us into better people. I have grown so much during this time in Colombia.
I have had to learn how to really live in the moment here; not what is happening at home or focusing on what is coming in the future. Those things, I discovered, is what dragged me down, got me worrying and therefore I was not able to put all my effort into the people we met. A good friend sent me a message as we were in the Calgary airport waiting to board our plane bound for Houston. In that message was some advice that I needed all throughout my time in Colombia. It said to live in the moment and not to wish myself back at home because I will be back soon enough. As I sit here in the Bogota airport I realize how true this was. I have had to completely focus all my attention to the Lord’s work and to the tasks at hand. This is how I was able to grow so much because I dwelled on things that would grow me into the lady that God wants me to be.
Instead of writing about all the places that my team travelled to, I would rather draw your attention to what the Lord has really taught me through this experience. Karis had said the other night that because this was a short term missions trip it was not what we did in Colombia that made the largest impact but it is what we take back home with us that will make the most impact on our lives. The main thing that God has really taught me is how to love people. Often I am very conservative with my love for people because I think that I only have a limited amount and that I need to only love people who are very important to me. Over the past month the Lord has been preparing me and teaching me about how to love people, but it was through Colombia that I actually had to implement love into all my actions. Kids who were broken and in bad home situations needed God’s seeds of love that I could plant into their lives. It was such a privilege to serve God in that way.
The challenge to all my team members and myself is to not lose what God has taught us once we go home. As we become consumed with our busy lives at home, it will become easy to fall back into our old routines and to forget the Lord in our hectic schedules. So this is my challenge to us all: to think back every day to Colombia and more importantly to dwell on what we have learned in this amazingly beautiful place. If we do not use these things that God has taught us in our daily lives then there was really no point in going to Colombia at all. I am so thankful for this opportunity to come to this country and learn more about God and myself.
Thank you to all who have supported us in every way. God bless!!!