Another month has passed and now we have completed 2 of the 3 months of our program. It brings so many emotions for all the things accomplished here, but at the same time makes me wonder if I’m doing enough if I am being intentional with the relationships that I have made, with ministry or with spending time…
This journey has been more about defining myself, quiet moments of introspection, identity, and purpose. As I type these lines, I go back to when I came here—Oh Lord, I was overwhelmed by the idea of having so much time by myself to dig deeper into my mess and brokenness. I mean, I had no clue what to do, where to start, or how God was going to work or provide during the internship. At that time those three months seemed so long, and now it seems in like the blink of an eye everything is about to be gone. When I first started doing outreach, I was on fire to go to the community, ready to help and bless people someway, somehow. Silly me, because we are already blessed by God (Genesis 1:28). I had no direction, my feelings and emotions were all over the place, everything looked more like trial and error, and it probably was. It took time and a little bit of common sense to realize that the answer to all of this was prayer. The reason I’m addressing this is that there is no meaning or success in doing something if God is not involved in the equation, and I dare say that this equation applies to everything we do while walking with God. I can be so passionate about the ministry, but when I have no goal or purpose, things go to a black hole or get lost in limbo. We can have all the success in the world or in something we do, but if His unconditional love and kindness are not reflected in our lives, satisfaction is never accomplished and brokenness follows after—at least that’s how I see it. Anyway. Two weeks ago, my team left for Lesotho, South Africa, to do ministry. For some sort of unfortunate series of events, I ended up not going on this trip and had to remain at the base. That was like a knife that went straight into my chest, and it wounded my trust in God and the plans He has for me.
As I got to remain, I had the chance to welcome two new teams, one from Buffalo, New York, and another one from North Carolina. I tried to get involved with them the very first day and I failed miserably. My head was definitely not in the right place, and neither was my energy nor my emotions. I was so sad that God let me remain here when I felt that I could be used better in Lesotho. I was feeling so weary and distracted that I decided to come to my Father so he could take care of me. That night I fell asleep while praying for clarity. Then the next morning when I woke up, I was so calm and peaceful. I went back to recap the night before when I fell asleep, and that feeling of sadness was not there anymore.
I felt so restored that I decided to jump in with the new team and try to mend or recover all the time wasted apart from getting to know them better. That morning I had coffee with them, we got to chat a little, and I got an idea of the different backgrounds and motivations pulling them to come to Africa. The next morning, I got to wake up early and intentionally spend more quality time with them, and as the day unfolded, I got this moment of revelation while we were having Poetice Kidz camp. I just felt this strong emotion of love and joy all over the place. Whatever I was doing at that time, I just stopped and looked around, and the image that I got to see was deep and extremely beautiful: I saw the whole team, both from North Carolina and New York, giving the best of their energies and abilities just to love on those almost 400 kids we had that day. Just thinking about it makes me teary-eyed—that group of loving and beautiful souls coming from the States, on fire for the Lord, just going deep with the kids, ministering to them, pouring into them.
Only God knows what an impact they made on those kids’ lives. This team wanted to be present and squeeze every single minute to make it worthwhile. Some of them came to me to exchange a word, to pass the time, to get to know me better, to walk around the community, or for prayers, because they were feeling sick and told me how they didn’t like the idea of missing opportunities. That made me realize that while they didn’t make the choice to get sick, I had in fact been choosing not to be present or involved with them and the ministry after my unfortunate event. After that moment of revelation, everything became an opportunity. They made me realize that me not going to Lesotho was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, that I needed to share this space and time with my brothers and sisters to learn and also pour into them. Even though bad circumstances happen in life, God can turn those things into beautiful and unpredicted opportunities when we pray and ask for it. We have to trust God even though sometimes things don’t make sense or seem hurtful.
When this team left, I felt genuinely sad. Even though we only spent like 11 days together, I was so moved by them. There is something about certain people and places that carves our souls like knives on trees. I tried my best to honor them and serve them, just as they did with the local community here in Africa. They shaped my life and I hope I was able to do the same.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dalila Trinidad – 2018 Immersion Intern