If I had to sum up this week in one word, I would choose ‘humbled’. First, humbled by the fact that I’m even here! The Lord (and Debbie) has given me such an amazing gift to allow me to be back in Guatemala when it wasn’t a thought in my mind two weeks ago. I’m also humbled to serve the Guatemalan people as a student nurse, gaining so much knowledge from the amazing nurses on this team before I graduate in May (Woohoo!), and getting so much practice in the career I am deeply passionate about. But more than anything else, I am humbled by the servant hearts that I have been constantly surrounded by this week. This team is tired, but they still ask how I’m doing and ask how they can help when I mention I’m not feeling the best. The amazing ladies that cook us meals are flexible to our dietary restrictions and difficult schedules. When we enter a patient’s home, where WE have come to serve THEM, they bring us chairs and invite us in as friends. And when I have to unfortunately tell a patient we only have reading glasses and not distance lenses, they smile and tell me it’s not a problem, and that they are thankful for me. Though the point for each one of us on this trip is to bring the love of Christ to our Guatemalan friends, I am in awe of the out-pouring of that same crazy, unending love, that has been given right back to me.
Post by Abby
Yesterday we got to worship God in church together with our brothers and sisters in Guatemala. We were worshiping God as we sang familiar and new songs in a language most of us didn’t grow up speaking, and being reminded of the fact that our God can hear us no matter where we are or what language we speak or any lack of words we may have at any given moment. Today we were able to worship God in the clinic as we used our gifts and skills to take care of old and young. We are worshiping Him by loving these new neighbors, our new friends – pouring into the truth of their identities as being created in the image of God and so completely loved, cherished, and pursued by Him. Like others have shared already, there is a slight language barrier, and yet, we truly have built some incredible, joyous relationships with minimal words. They say laughter is the best medicine (and for those of you who’ve been on a trip with us before, you know there are some team members with incredibly infectious laughs that carry throughout the building you are in day and night!!!). Would you be praying that our patients experience God’s love through our words and actions, and that God would continue to use us to bring healing and joy and hope when we put scrubs back on in the morning and head into our last day in the clinic?! We’re tired and even as we learn how to adapt to what is available to us here, there is always more we wish we could do if we had some of the resources of home. Thank you God for being sufficient and powerful. We’ve seen His hand in so many ways – seeing Berta’s health improve in just the few days we’ve been here, being at the right place at the right time when one of the pastor’s kids was just starting to get sick from strep, providing new equipment that make our jobs easier and take care of our patients better, and finding the perfect pair of glasses for someone who doesn’t have access to an optometrist. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers – we are blessed to have family and friends back home and all over, who are invested in this adventure with us.
Post by Susanna
I am also humbled this morning in a different way as I get out of a hot bath, after a comfortable nights rest with a precise 68 degrees around me…The luxuries around me seems so insignificant and almost shameful. I realize after reading the most recent post and rereading others how Jesus is working every day throughout the world and making differences that I can only imagine. Of course this is true, but to be able to share along side you and get this small glimpse of our loving God at work is such a gift. The beauty is not simply the teams that exist to bring such light into the world but the people that are simply living a simple life without much expectation except for knowing and trusting that Jesus is with them and experiencing the joy and contentment it brings. How beautiful the gifts of God are! Thank you all for sharing.
Great posts Abby and Susanna! Thank you for sharing the experience so well! I am praying for you all and your last day of clinic. I am thankful that God can do more than we ask or imagine. I look forward to hearing about the last day! May He strengthen each of you and bless the work of your hands! And may your day include joy and delight just as He delights in you and the people you serve.
I can’t but think how is it that we have choices such as whether we want plastic or paper bags at a grocery store when so many people around the world don’t even know when they will get their next meal? You are so right, it is very humbling. It’s situations like this that grow each of us and stretch our faith in knowing God will provide in every situation. I admire each one of you and the selflessness you have shown each day of your trip.
Abby and Susanna was a great reminder that we are so incredibly blessed back in the States with all the luxury of: medicine , cars, heat and A/C, grocery stores, fast food, hot running water, and the list goes on. Reading this as I was thinking how tired I was gave me energy. I am praying for you ALL! God’s mercies in your travels home.
Thanks for the daily updates. i eagerly look for the next one to post! Fun to have Susanna’s today :-) May you all find rest and finish the trip strong!
I am so very happy Abby that you had this wonderful surprise trip! (Man, you got out of all the team meetings AND the inventory?!!……not that I would ever want to……) Susanna, I have seen you in action before so I know how people are drawn to you…I love how you put it, that your worshiped God in the clinic, what a great reminder that we ARE worshiping God when we use our skills as He intended them to be used.
Let’s not forget the one who guides us, who is ever present and always at work, whose voice can be heard above all others……thats right, J……..E………nni Duncan :) (love you my friend :))
Great work guys, thank you for sacrificing so much this past week to serve this community!
So exciting to see you back in Guatemala! I bet your strep tests are improving haha!
Jenni and Corey,
What an inspiration to see you both fulfilling God’s calling on your lives, we love you and your beautiful family so much!
I love looking through all the photos and seeing your bright smile! Your mom, like our dad, doesn’t know how to comment but wants you to know she is so proud of you!
To all the team,
I’m sure you are all exhausted from the last clinic day… like Jenni says “joyfully tired”. We pray for safe travels and to hear more amazing testimonies from your trip!
With so much love,
So happy to hear about your experience, Susanna. It brought tears to my eyes to consider how gracious the Lord is — He saved your dad, who then led me to Christ — then He brought your mom and dad together — and they had you and led you to Christ — and now after years of devoting their lives to sharing the gospel with others, here you are serving the needy with your talents and gifts for the sake of the gospel. God be praised! I’m so honored to be your auntie and privileged to be able to partner with you in this ministry. Love you!