It's too hard to sum up into words, but I will try my best. It will take a while to process, but here is what I've got so far.
How can people who have nothing, appreciate everything? While people who have everything are still not satisfied? And I am one of those people... Materially, I have everything compared to all of the people there. Spiritually, they have more joy in Christ in the midst of suffering than I have ever seen. One of my favorite things we did was worship on Sundays at Victory City Church. I have never experienced worship the way these people truly worship God. One song we always sang was, "My God is Good Oh. Everything is double, double. Everything is triple, triple" (reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 61 "so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.") It was incredible to experience the spiritual richness in the midst of immense poverty.
Loving the people through Christ looked many different ways throughout our time- sometimes it was just a smile and a wave, a biscuit (cookie), holding a crying baby, giving medicine to sick people, holding the hands of the elderly, playing futbol (soccer) with the children at the children's home, painting fingernails and toenails, visiting the sick and those in a burn unit, painting faces, praying for someone, giving a Bible, sharing Jesus in tangible ways
A quote that was shared during one of our devotions that stuck with me
"Compassion will require much from us. It will be uncomfortable, messy, difficult, inconvenient, and painful. But it will have incredible value in the Kingdom of God."
This is so true. It is hard to know about the pain that these people go through, it would be easier to just put it out of our minds, but we can not. God called us as Christians to suffer with them, loving on them where they are. And if where they are is hurting, then we hurt too.
"I use to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes."
I am so thankful that Ben & I were able to serve together. Did I mention that we made some of the greatest friends on our team who came from all over the US and one from Canada, we miss them already. We were blessed by them and so blessed by Ken and Sherry who run Loving One by One Ministries. They are incredible servants of the Lord.
Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip possible through providing funding and praying for us & our team.