Nearly 6 months ago, I journeyed to Guatemala with International Samaritan, an organization that specifically works with those who live in garbage dump communities. There are several places where I’ve written about life in the garbage dump: here, and here, and here are some of them. When I left, I knew that more than the effect I would have on the people (through building roofs, working with kids, etc), the transformation in my own life would be immeasurable.
I gave the gift of sweat equity, listening, and shared bread. The people there gave me the gift of shared stories and transformation that still continues to trickle into my daily living. Now, perhaps, Juan Carlos, Andres, or even Juana, has experienced tangible changes in their lives as a result of our interactions. But, how many service trips did the three of them (and all the others) encounter over the last year? Over the last 5 years? Can I say with any assurance that I had an impact on their lives? When all is told, although I helped build a roof and clear a courtyard, those whom I had gone to serve, in fact, served me.
Was this a surprise to me? Not really. Continue reading