When I was asked to write this article for the church newsletter, along with my son Kellen, I was honored. Honored, then very quickly... panicked. Panicked because I wanted the two of us to do our very BEST job at attempting to represent our group and what we experienced on this once-in-a-lifetime trip! Also panicked, as this trip was a tapestry of rich, gloriously spiritual, lovely, awe-inspiring moments. How to do this trip, and these moments the justice they deserve?
Since there is no way to choose only one moment out of the many hundreds upon hundreds of incredible moments, and no way to fit them all in the space provided, I decided to go a different direction.
"So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." 1 Corinthians 12: 25-27
This verse means so much to me and really embodies the primary lesson, or insight I gained while staying at the CCFC Center in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. This verse speaks to a very simple idea... the idea of Community. I always viewed the concept of community as just a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Like... my neighborhood. Or this church congregation. A small area but large in spirit and purpose.
But after this trip, the idea, the word Community is a phrase with so much more depth, so much more vibrancy for me. Now, Community means simply humankind. It means fellowship. A social center or condition. Of common character. A group of people traveling to Alta Verapaz, Guatemala to serve women and children. To be conscious of the earth and all its creatures, and how my footprint impacts all who are connected to our planet. How I fit in and connect to all of God's creations! To see need where I was blind before, and at least have some idea how to begin to help fill that need... and serve that community. Because that community, that need, that desire to serve is my role in my community. My community starts in my home and spreads to the people in my children's schools, to the people I worship with every Sunday, and all the way to my fellow neighbors down in Guatemala. As my very wise son Kellen commented while we were in Guatemala "the world is so huge yet so very small."