Monday, July 13, 2009

"Yo soy lo que soy; no mas."

(candles at Santa Domingo candle workshop)

Day 1 of Week #3: Update on Zacapa.
My trip to the prison in Zacapa last Thursday was an intense day. My friend and I arrived in Guatemala City late Wednesday evening and left at 5AM to meet up with J and the bus. I realized then that this was going to be a very important trip. The families of the women incarcerated in Zacapa do not generally have the money to make the 3 hours bus trip for visits from G. City. J and the prison chaplain had gathered all of the families of the women and provided a school bus for them to be able to visit their loved ones. Many children were among the group; two said they hadn’t seen their mom in 1 & ½ years. Also along for the journey was a group of folks from New Life Church in Philly! That was a cool surprise; though I didn’t know any of them before, we will be able to meet up when I return to the city. The trip was amazing… too many thoughts to record here. One thing I will say that the women there were VERY excited at the idea of getting together in a couple of weeks to paint a mural. I’ve been in a few prisons in the states, but I’ve never seen a prison like this one. Prisons are quite different in third-world. The rough physical space that is the home for these 15 women is a prime place for a redemptive mural. Wrestling with my worries about finishing a mural in three days, I’m also reminded that the most important thing is not the mural; it’s the relationships, interactions, and show of love that can occur when people are truly present with each other. (Thanks N.) The Lord has taught me this time and time again through my neighbors in Hunting Park. I will be spending three days there (July 24-26) working on the mural. Please pray for the Lord to be present with us as we dialogue and paint together.

I thought all day about how I’m so not the best person to do this mural! I can’t even really communicate with the ladies; my Spanish is so slow coming… it was pretty overwhelming and humbling simply to be in the space let alone try to talk about painting a mural together. But those walls are their home. And we will work together for 3 days to create something that will redeem this space to speak of home, hope, self-value and significance; all that the Lord will bring to our souls which we all so desperately need. When I communicated some of my apprehension about my language abilities to my Spanish teacher, she said to repeat to myself, “Yo soy lo que soy; no mas.” I am what I am; no more. Insufficiencies are the crux of life. (Thanks D.)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” - Jesus (2 Cor. 12:9)

“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are…” (1 Cor. 1:27-29)

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