Thanksgiving seems as good of a day to write as any. I have survived almost all of my 38 day trip to the United States. While it had been intended to be a working trip, I have spent a lot more times in my pajamas than I cared to, but perhaps that is what God wanted of me. Perhaps He wanted me to just take it easy, recharge, and think about myself for a bit. I know He will provide for my every need; so I don't typically think about me. But I know that He provides for every single one of the people I serve as well. Typically, He provides me, but in my absence, I know He has provided someone or something else.
I will not say that this trip has been without its work successes, mostly for the girls' home in San Lucas which I visited just days before leaving and didn't even tell you all about! It is a home for girls (and some of their brothers) who have been sexually abused. It's actually connected to the school that I worked at for a week my very first trip to Guatemala in 2007. They are seeking funds and long-term volunteers. I think I may have found them both which is a very good thing, but we'll save the celebrating until these things are fixed in place. In the meantime, just keep them in your prayers.
This Thanksgiving, due to various health issues in my immediate and extended family, I will be spending the holiday with a friend of mine and her family. They are, admittedly, a different kind of extended family as I have always called her mom "mom" as well and my friend's twins who were born in July are told "Look, Auntie Annalisa is here!"
I return to Guatemala on Monday. Since we're on school vacation there, I will be taking advantage of the time to do some traveling and ministry work. Normally my time to expand ministry is limited to a couple days at the end of every week; so, school breaks are a blessing. Ideally I'd like to be able to do ministry full time--admittedly teaching English in the school is its own form of ministry--but due to my typical feeling of unworthiness at asking for other people's hard earned money, I just don't have the support to be able to do that. If I can get this teams thing off the ground, I would be able to earn a little more money off of translating, but at the current time, I am unable to get by without the tiny stipend from the school.
It really is a vicious cycle. Due to the need for money to pay my rent and buy food, I am unable to leave my job at the school (besides the sense of needing to help the children). However, because of my job at the school, I am unable to take translating jobs which would earn me enough to stop working there (because of the week-long nature of the work which doesn't cotton to taking days off to teach). So, I'm very pleased to have the month of December to get out and work in the communities...and maybe take a translating job if one comes up.
In other financial news, I was able to work at Oakland Community College during my time here. It was just a few hours per week tutoring Spanish, but it was better than nothing. It will make my pockets a few pennies heavier, and, for the most part, my parents were willing to foot my gas expenses while I was here; so I might actually come out ahead. I also had someone approach me and tell me that her company would like to help support me on a regular basis which I felt quite honored about. It will certainly make me feel a little less guilty about withdrawing money from my bank account but never putting anything in myself. I am, however, incredibly humbled, honored, and thankful that someone would consider me when deciding where to use their money.
And the final part of this note: the future. There have been a lot of things that have happened over the last week or two. Someone suggested that they saw an opening for my ministry in California or Texas, that people will come from there to serve in Guatemala. Then, a day or two ago, without even knowing about this other person, my mother mentioned that I wouldn't have to come back to Michigan every time I have to leave Guatemala, that I could go to other places such as California or places that I could get to without a layover (Houston TEXAS!, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale). And, as I said in my last entry, I don't know who else is called or where they will come from. So, when three people come up with the same thought at the same time...it's usually a God thing. (Admittedly, my mother reads this blog, but why she would come up with California or Texas--which are the same two the other person mentioned--I don't entirely know.)
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. :)