Today, we, and especially myself, were reminded what living in community is really about. Starting the day building relationships with the FH staff, who welcomed all of us by first learning each others names through a game of throwing a ball of yarn around. We also got to learn about each of the communities that FH is working with here in Sucre, as well as the visions and values that we are partnering with them in, which starts with a biblical worldview of what it means to see all of the people and children we get to play with, meet, get to know who they are, and more, and in many ways there’s often not a better way to do that than to prepare / cook / and share a meal with, which is exactly what we did after getting together at the main FH building.
Personally, getting to know the different women while helping them cook and prepare our lunch by making fruit and marshmallow kebabs, cutting a very large pot of carrots and beets, making meat balls, and cutting many other vegetables was a great experience to just know who they are, hear their stories, have them show us the different ways they cook (which was much faster than many of us from the US), as well as being able to share photos and stories of our own lives and families.For others it was enjoying the excitement of "boom-whakers", running around, and playing many other types of games with the children. As well as getting to see a community garden at the church where we made our lunchBut it was in many of these moments that I began to realize what community is truly like, as well as what a blessing and joy it is to put all of the worries and cares of the "logistics" of something behind, and to just be in the moment with each other united in Christ. It was also a blessing to again see just how big God’s community really is throughout the world as we all struggled and worked at the language barrier, but, I think, that even with that, I often found that the Holy Spirit spoke in us the words we needed to hear or say. Often many people who go on mission trips go down with the intention of "doing something" but it is so often that the reverse happens in which we are the ones being ministered to as long as we let others do so.Another part of community that we got to be a part of is the community that FH is working to build and cultivate with all of the children in building relationships with the whole families through the children. Many of the members of our team got to meet the children they sponsored face to face, all the while getting to share with each of the families who they are, while also getting to know who they are.Through all of the events today, getting to build relationships of every kind has just been an awesome highlight of this trip, and it’s only been the second full day! As we’ve been going through our series of "Beyond Measure", including for what is "Beyond Me", seeing what is beyond us in the relationships we can form, the people in whatever situation we may find them in and just stopping to pray with them, and to be a part of what God is doing here in Bolivia, doing everything with Thanksgiving. There are so many more things that we’ll get to participate in the coming days, and I look forward to every moment shared with others on our team, and with the many Bolivianos both young and old.John