After being here for two weeks, I feel like I never left. The streets and faces are familiar and welcoming. I often find myself referring to Santa as ‘home’ as though my roots were planted here. Each time I come, I find it easier to adjust to Guatemalan life, and leave my life in the US. The people know me, and I know them. I have become accustomed to the things that I used to find shockingly different.
In the past week we have learned that two people we love and care about need surgery. One of our dedicated volunteers is abused by her father. I listened as a twelve year old carefully described the scene of his uncle hitting his five year old cousin. Walking up the road people told me of all the nights they have gone hungry. An elderly woman spoke about how she knows her strength is ending, but has to care for her special needs son. A teen goes to work at three in the morning and returns at eight at night in order to help support his family. A woman in tears, looking for a solution after acquiring debt for live saving medical treatment four years ago that now puts her family’s home in jeopardy.
Each day we are put in the position to handle these situations. Today, I realized this is never something I want to become accustomed to. I never want other people’s suffering to be normal, and just another part of my day. No matter how many stories I hear, or how many people come to us. I want it to sting as much as it did first time. I want each situation to break my heart so love can flow out.