This trip has definitely been an experience of a life time. You learn so much from the people around you, not even necessarily by talking to them but also by watching them.Their lifestyles are so different from ours that it really makes you rethink your values. You can definitely see that God is there amongst the people.
The first thing that I noticed was how grateful everyone was. ‘Thank you’s’ were coming from all different directions and it created this amazing environment where you almost feel safe. You’re aware of the dangers around you but you still have this safe feeling at the same time because of a simple ‘thank you’. When I go to different restaurants or stores it is rare when you hear thank you, or if you do it’s an empty phrase, something you say out of sheer politeness. I catch myself doing that now, am I really thankful? Do I appreciate the life I have and all that’s given to me? It’s like this westerners curse where we have everything given to us so it almost seems like we have no real need for gratefulness. It is a new goal of mine to be honestly and fully appreciative of what I have.
The biggest thing that I noticed however was how relaxed people are down there. All of us serving were fast paced and just trying to get things done, but when we all stopped and walked around talking to people, you realized just how slow paced the homeless are. They are willing to talk to you for hours about their lives and are willing to speak into our lives as well. Just today I was talking to this guy about life and he was saying how he was in this really dark place and that it was just a spiral downwards, but then he eventually had to pick himself up out of that pit and how he’s starting to move upwards. It was so inspirational because I am one of those people who can get easily bogged down by life, but it’s also necessary to move forwards. But back to the point, it was really awesome that they would take time out of their lives to give us new life, even if they don’t realize it. It really showed me the heart of these people and that they really are people who care.
God is so good. This trip so far has been a roller coaster of emotions but all have had their purpose to show things that I haven’t seen in myself before. Yet He has shown me so much grace and is constantly giving me peace. It’s like David said, “God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.” Psalms 29:11. God Bless!