Sunday, March 17, 2013

Learning About Trust In Ecuador

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge God and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

For Christians, these words are very well known and we do our best to live by them. But how often do we really trust God WITH ALL OUR HEART or acknowledge Him IN ALL OUR WAYS? I sure as heck don’t as much as I would like. When I was in Ecuador in late January, visiting my Compassion sponsored child Jacqueline, I caught a glimpse of what it really means to trust fully and completely, and I want to share it with you.

I’m so glad I went to Ecuador. When I planned my trip to Central America in January, I wasn’t originally going to include Ecuador, because it was a little bit “out of the way” compared to the other countries I planned to visit. I have been sponsoring 6 year-old Jacqueline for two and a half years, and it was her letters that got me. Here is a sample:
- I would like to meet you because I would like to know you and your toys

- Jacqueline loves you, and for her, the wish to know you is the most beautiful in her life

- She also wonders if you will be able to meet face to face someday

- She wants you to know that she would like to know you in some moment to share with you nice moments

- Do you know something incredible? You are a hero for Jacque, she would like to be like you when she grows up – a great professional. She wants to work with children, and the same as you, to be mature spiritually in faith. Jacque wants that you never get apart from Jesus. Jacque would like to be like you because you follow Jesus Christ’s footprints. Jacque asks God that you come to Ecuador. She wants to see your eyes and tell you she loves you

Alright, alright, I get the hint! So Ecuador was included on the itinerary. I say it again, I’m SO glad I went to Ecuador. It was one of the three days on the trip that I didn’t leave with some sort of heartbreak or negative feeling. And that’s not because her family’s life isn’t hard. They’re a family of seven, about to be turfed out of their house, and the parents jobs are anything but secure.

However, what I found was, because of some of the situations I experienced that wrecked me, God multiplied the impact of the joyous moments. And this day was JOYOUS
. I'll admit that the main reason I'm writing this blog is just so I get to relive the day - pure innocence, joy and excitement!

We met in the foyer of my hotel – Jacqueline, her mum, her Project Director and my translator – all women. I’d kind of become used to being surrounded by women by now (and loved it) :). I wasn’t sure what sort of reaction I’d get from Jacqueline, but she turned out to be one of the more affectionate and open of my children, right from the start. I had an 18 year old who didn’t say “boo” and I had a six year old who chatted away.

She was tiny, like a doll, and she squeezed her way into my heart right away. The visit took place on a Saturday, and our first stop was an amusement park in the city of Quito. We loaded up a prepaid card with $40 and off we went. Jacqueline was (to paraphrase Homer) “like a kid in some kind of a store.” For whatever reason, she particularly liked the rides that did nothing but go round and round. We did merry-go-rounds, giant slides, trampolines, mini-pirate ship, even the waste-of-money sideshow games (though on this day, not one cent was wasted).

I was able to go on some rides with her. To be able to share this time with a precious little girl who was enjoying what we consider to be standard childhood experiences for the first time was an amazing privilege, and more than once I got lost in the moment.

 During our morning together, Jacqueline was running purely on adrenalin and excitement. Her Mama shared with me that she hadn’t slept very well the previous night, as she was so excited, and I could see her getting gradually more tired. She made it through lunch, then we travelled an hour to her home. During this time, Jacqueline finally succumbed and fell asleep. In my arms.

I cannot describe the significance of that moment. God was showing me His love for Jacqueline and His love for me. This was Proverbs 3:5-6 come to life. To me, falling asleep in someone’s arms is the greatest example of trust we can demonstrate as humans, as we make ourself totally vulnerable, and our lives are completely in the other person’s hands. Jacqueline was showing me that she trusted me with all her heart, and God was whispering to me “This is how I want my people to trust me.” Lesson learned.

Trust is something that takes a long time to earn, but only a moment to lose. Every day I am thankful for the people God has entrusted to me to educate, encourage and love – my class, my nieces and nephews, and my Compassion kids. It is equally a privilege and a responsibility, one that I don’t take lightly.

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet moment! My heart is in Ecuador and my girls are just amazing! I hope to return soon!