This year, as many of you know, I (quite unexpectedly) spent a month and a half in Guatemala. From the moment I stepped out of the plane I knew this would not be an ordinary trip.
Although I stayed in one country during this time. I experienced two very different worlds. The endless days in the big city and capital of Guatemala, where my Grandfather was hospitalized. And the time at the poor villages surrounding the small mission of AOJ.
This places, though contrasts in so many ways, had one thing in common.
From witnessing the cries of people losing loved ones in the city hospital, to seeing the tears streaming down children's faces as we washed their dirty, blistered feet at a poverty stricken village, I came to see how suffering is everywhere, and heart broken people are all around us. Doesn't matter if they're rich or poor, if they're completely healthy or on their deathbeds....there is hardship around the world, and there is common pain found in every human heart.
Somehow, there I stood in the midst of it all. and I found myself asking time after time "why am I here? Is there a purpose for me to be observing all this?" At the moment it was hard to understand, but as the year comes to an end, I look back and understand how my time in that little country of Central America served a much bigger purpose than I would ever have imagined.
There is something that has stayed engraved in my heart ever since, something I saw in the middle of suffering, I couldn't quite understand it at the moment, and I was surprised to find it in such circumstances....
Trust in the midst of uncertainty.
Love in the midst of contempt.
Joy in the midst of adversity.....