We had just been in the swimming hole of these gorgeous, glorious waterfalls, and now about 20 people are jam-packed in a single jeep that had the gas on E the whole time to go see the pyramids. As excited as we are, our drive is not the most pleasant one. The insane beauty of the waterfalls and the mountainous view did not mask the coldness of the water while we were swimming. It was freezing. Granted, not everyone who saw the waterfalls was dumb enough to get in. But me, being stubborn and ready for adventure, did. I could see my breath in the jeep afterwards. And at times while driving, we were about two feet away from huge cliffs.
We drove like this for hours, singing songs and linking arms with the people next to us, or asking those on the floor of the jeep to sit on our toes to keep them warm. I’m not joking, I was shivering. And too stubborn to use someone’s sweatshirt to cover my exposed knees, but that’s not the point. When we eventually got to our destination to see the pyramids that we had frozen our toes off for, we saw one, single pyramid, not even 20 feet high. I attached a picture so y’all can see. I wish you all could see our faces when we reached to the final destination, too. We were bummed. Fog started to cover the pyramid so much that we couldn’t take many good pics of it, either.
I realized that sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem.
We were in church, listening to the Dominicans sing and preach, while sharing our testimonies and songs with them as well. As usual in the Dominican, if an American comes to church, the kids gather around, throughout the whole service. You ultimately have at least one kid on your lap, maybe even one or two fighting for that valued lap-spot. And another kid playing with your hair. And of course, as we all know, kids love to talk. We definitely had to shush these kids a lot.
One day, though, a little girl was sitting on my lap, talking, like the rest of the kids. To others (especially the people behind me), she was a bother. As I got closer, trying to hear what she was saying, I eventually realized that she was trying to read my Bible for herself. I scanned all the other people sitting attentively to the pastor, either gaining truth from him or maybe even daydreaming and wondering what they were going to do next after this service. I realized that what this girl was doing was more precious than that. She was trying to learn for herself. Yet, people still tried to shush her.
Sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem.
We were painting a church, inside and out, and I find a group of students and leaders, sitting on chairs. “What slackers, have they been here for a long time?” I thought. (And of course, I was doing nothing as well. It’s crazy how we tend to judge others before we judge ourselves). As I leaned in closer to hear what they were saying, I realized that they were sharing the Gospel with this man. He was caught in a downward spiral of believing that being a good person to get to Heaven, and they were encouraging him that faith in Christ is the only way he could have eternal life; he didn’t have to be “good enough” because he never would be good enough. After that conversation, instead of trying to find work for myself, I decided to look lazy and sit down, too, to pray for that guy’s salvation while they were witnessing.
Just a disclaimer, I don’t usually do those sorts of things. God definitely was working on me in that moment, and fortunately that time I listened to Him. Usually, I don’t. But what I once thought was slacking, with them sitting on chairs, I eventually participated in, because I received the greater perspective after searching deeper into the situation.
Sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem. We need to search deeper and get that greater perspective.
Sometimes, you’ll find out that the thing you’ve been hoping to achieve for the longest time wasn’t that great in the first place. Other times, you find out that the people, things, and experiences you overlooked became the greatest memories you have. Sometimes you find opportunities to do something you never thought you could. The key is to realize that things happen for a reason, find the good, and not be afraid to struggle to find a new perspective. Let us not shy away from the things that seem hard or seem worthless; we may be missing out on being a part of something bigger than ourselves.
-Our mission trip went super well; it was a time to relax as well as a time to work and share both the Gospel and our testimonies.
-My sickness has now (almost) gone away!
-The GAP student in the States seems to be good to go soon to return to the DR. Pray that she heals up soon and that no more complications will happen while she’s back!
-That I am completely focused here on Spanish and Bible/not getting distracted.