It is now my fourth day here in Santiago and God has already revealed things to me, whether it be about myself or His people, or His world. Although we have been busy planning things for summer school which starts on Monday, God made his presence known. So far I have felt many different emotions. I have felt loved, happy, frustrated, excited, sad, convicted, and called.
It is almost impossible not to see God in the home that I am living in. I live with a woman (Eladia), her daughter (Susan), and her two grandchildren (Joseph and Adriana). Eladia is one of the most patient and caring people that I have ever met. She considers herself a mother to me, and is always making sure I have everything I need. When I came home yesterday she had put a laundry basket in my room and a mirror on my dresser for me. She is also extremely patient with me and my Spanish. She speaks slower to me and repeats things or explains them in a different way when I need it. I am honored to be able to spend these next five weeks getting to know her and her beautiful family.
Adriana (5) and Joseph (9) are really sweet kids as well. I can tell that Eladia is their grandmother through their acts of kindness to me, even though they are so young. They alone revealed to me that what Paul said to Timothy is true, not to let anyone look down on him because he was young, but to set an example..and they are an example to me of God's love and kindness. I am fortunate to spend time with these children as well because even they are teaching me things about myself. They look to others first before themselves, which is not true of most children their ages, and I think that is something very significant.
This evening Eladia brought me with to her Bible study and we discussed the Christian life and what it looks like to be a true Christian. We read a passage from the book of Job, which happens to be one of my favorite people in the Bible. I always loved his story because Job lost everything he had,
including his family, and he still praised God. In the bible study we read Job 19: 25-27 which says:
"I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!"
This verse made me think about the future and what it will be like to see God. It is impossible to wrap my mind around, but I don't need to because I will see Him one day. It made me think about how what happens in this life should not concern me so much because God is here now, and I will spend eternity with him. I have that confidence in Christ. I know my redeemer lives.
The Bible study leader said tonight that we are always in His presence, and therefore we need to be
careful. I have also heard it said once that we are citizens of heaven on earth. When I heard that I began thinking about what that looks like, or should look like. If I am a citizen of heaven, constantly in God's presence, that changes how I think, talk, and act. I should strive to have nothing depart from me unless it is in love. No thoughts, words, or actions without meaning or love. What I would do when I see God face to face should be what I am doing here on earth, because I am already in his presence, and I am a citizen of heaven on earth, awaiting His return.
I am glad that God showed this to me again early in my trip here because I now have a better idea of how to interact with the people here. Although many times I am not completely sure what they are saying to me or how to say something back to them properly in Spanish, God can use me to show his love to His children, just as Joseph, Adriana, and Eladia show me.
I am excited about the week to come with summer school starting! I am a little nervous, but excited to teach Bible stories to the kids, along with organizing their crafts. I am also looking forward to working with the staff and getting to know them.
My next post will probably be filled with stories about the kids at summer school...and hopefully some pictures for you all to see what I'm talking about. Thank you for taking the time to read this...I will try to get better at writing these things!