I've recently been meditating on this song from The Sound of Music, both because it's my favorite movie and because it seems to apply to my life today.
Climb every mountain, fjord every stream! Follow every rainbow, until you find your dream! A dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life, for as long as you live!!
Since coming to live in Romerillos, I have faced many challenges, both physically (new living conditions and daily routine), emotionally (living alone, not knowing my role here), and spiritually (feeling distant from God, doubting my ability to be a light in the darkness). These abstract mountains at first loomed in front of me so huge I thought I could never overcome them. But gradually, I felt God's presence here with me. I began to find little joys in the mundane, everyday life: seeing the smile of a girl as she understood her English homework,
receiving daily visits from an adorable little girl (she said she just didn't want me to be all alone!), looking out my window to see the gorgeous mountain view,
stopping to talk with women on my way back from buying bread, successfully running the first day of tutoring, having a
great meaningful talk with the pastor. I'm beginning to feel more at home here.
At times I am like the salt that gets thrown into the cake by mistake. Out of place. The extranjera. Foreigner. Almost daily I get those what-is-that-white-girl-doing-here stares. But it no longer takes me by surprise. I just smile and explain why I'm here, and that I'll be staying for a year, not just coming for a week for some feel-good trip and back to my home. And they understand. They relax and begin to open up. Friendships form.
Recently I have seen God's hand in my work here. This week for the first time I actually sort of had a normal routine. Two days we had the after-school tutoring program, two days I taught English, and one morning I helped at the childcare center. It never ceases to amaze me how people can have so much hope in me when I don't know what I am doing. I am really not a teacher. I am really not qualified to start an after-school program. I have no idea how to lead a youth event. Yet despite my doubts, God is using me in mysterious ways. My prayer is that every day I would be willing and obedient to serve in the ways in which He has called me.
So I will climb every mountain. Yes, there will be barriers, there will be struggles. But I won't give up.
I will give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.
The God who brought me to this beautiful place, his love endures forever.
Who is teaching me something new every day, his love endures forever.
Who gives me patience when it's tested to the max, his love endures forever.
Who shows me how to teach in a loving way, his love endures forever.
Who keeps me warm at night in this cold climate, his love endures forever.
Who sends me friends when I am lonely, his love endures forever.
Who guides my every step, his love endures forever.
(Inspired by Psalm 136)