Papa Don's Post...
Greetings from Colombia on Valentine's Day! This is fitting because of the amazing love that has been shown to all of us every day we have been here. We came with the expectation of being a blessing, and have been blessed far beyond measure.
We were treated to dinner at the homes of students of El Camino Christian Academy, and brought gifts from Canada. Every group returned with gifts far exceeding those we brought, and had stories of incredible generosity.
Each school we went to was in a progressively poorer neighbourhood. In every case, we witnessed amazing sacrifice by teachers working for paltry salaries and pouring love and hope into their students, Large classes in tiny classrooms with little technology were the norm, but the love for the students was overwhelming.
Our times at the orphanages, the senior's home and the home for teen mothers were heartbreaking when we visited, but also uplifting to see the workers provide care and hope for people who had none.
The cook in our guesthouse is also the most amazing woman. We are treated like royalty. She got here every morning at 5:00 to begin preparing the most fantastic breakfasts. This means she got up before 4:00 to get here. Her daughters also assisted her; one a senior in high school and the other a university student with a part-time job.
We return home in two days. Each one of us has been impacted by that love shown to us by a people who make me ashamed of my lack of generosity and warmth. It is my prayer that this impact will be life changing.
Here is Mackenzie...
Hey everyone! Can I just start off by saying WOW, this trip has forever changed my life and put a whole new perspective on things. The next goal is to make sure I stay consistent with everything and remember what I have learned and to not fall back into old habits. Since the first day we got here new loving,gracious and selfless people have entered my life, as well as the teams. I never thought so many people could be that incredible, then I got thinking about it, it's all in Gods love and the Colombian culture, that shapes these amazing people. Which makes me thirst and strive to be more like God, love more, be gracious and accepting to everyone I meet no matter the situation.
On another note something that has caught me off guard, that I thought was not necessarily was going to be hard is teaching. I thought it would go a lot smoother and be less difficult. And it's really hard to accept, when it is one of the main reasons we come on this trip. It's to be Gods light and teach them our language. Over a couple of days I realized I don't have to be good at everything, everyone on our team has a different purpose. God is using all of us in so many different ways and well all have our own place on this mission. Each of us have been challenged to our fullest, and have learned so many new lessons.
A goal for me is to be a God pleaser and not a people pleaser, in the long run I'm going to affect more lives showing Gods love and following his plans for me then I would doing what my parents want me to do, my friends,myself or anyone for that matter, my main focus is the Lord. I will follow His plan and only His because He is above all else and the most important. My lesson of the day is that is how fast God can work and change your mind about different things or even open your mind to the idea of new concepts. Something that we talked about today is even though you think that what your doing is right, and that its godly but you personally made the choice dose not make it right. If God is calling you to something and you ignore it and follow your own path but still do something Godly that is disobedience because you are not obeying Gods command. I love meeting new people adventure and new experiences going out of my comfort zone and this trip has prepared me for what ever God has in store for me.
I just want to give thanks to all my supporter whether it be through prayer or financial support. Last but not least I want to give thanks to my biggest supporter,cheerleader, mentor and whom I trust. The one that picked me and lead me on this trip and that is The Lord. Thanks again everyone I appreciate it a ton! (: