Obviously there is so much tell about a trip after you get back home, but there is so much that still goes on inside too. I knew I would have a hard time leaving the DR, but I guess I didn’t expect it to be this hard. It seems that everywhere I turn, something brings me back to the DR. Today at work, interacting with people, I kept thinking about the people I interacted with in the DR. While cleaning today, I kept thinking about the woman sweeping their porches and sidewalks every morning. Cooking supper tonight, all I wanted was rice and beans (we did not :)). Baking cookies – I think about how hospitable every one and food was ALWAYS offered. I just started crying – uncontrolable tears. I went to kneel by our bed and just pray; that’s all I could do. I just can’t get the people off of my mind and my heart just YEARNS to go back. But I know I can’t right now. God has me here in Michigan for a reason. I think about Wilson, Robinson, and Eddy, the 3 guys we got to know – I miss them so incredibly. I actually MISS struggling to find the right Spanish word and MISS saying “no entiendo” (translated means I don’t understand). I miss just smiling at the people because I don’t know the words. I miss relating with them.
I am listening to a VERY old school Michael W. Smith cassette tape (yeah, I’m wierd :)) and the song Agnus Dei came on and I just belted out the words “Hallelujah.” My mind and heart went back to the times when in unison at Esperanza CRC on Sunday, we all said that word TOGETHER as ONE body of Christ. There were NO barriers – we could all say that with all our hearts. It just made me think of what heaven will be like – when we will join in unison and sing praises to God – understand each other, and walk hand in hand. One of my most FAVORITE times of the trip was each morning when we prayed together. We all joined hands – our group and the Haitian workers. After each prayer in each language, the Haitians would sing in Creol, a hymn. It typically was a hymn we knew in English, so we sang the English version. We joined TOGETHER as ONE and sang praises to God. IT WAS A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN. That is what I yearn and am eager for. To be joined with my brothers and sisters of the Dominican again. On Sunday, when we were saying our good-byes, many commented on us being their brothers and sisters in Christ. I hold those words so close to my heart.
God gives us experiences that change our lives forever – this trip was one of them for me. If I had the chance, I would pack my bags this very minute and head straight there. But God wants me to apply what I learned there to the life here. The problem is that my heart is still “stuck” there. BUT…God will slowly show both Dan and I how this experience will impact our life here – we already see that happening. I feel it’s different here in the Sterk house – how I’m not sure, but it’s this unsaid feeling of knowing we just came back different. I am excited to see and blog about how God is using this whole experience.
As I continue to process everything, I know more tears will come. I know my heart will continue to yearn. I know God will continue to grow me. All I can do is just pray for those I miss the most. Prayer is what connects us and prayer is the only thing that I can do to express my thoughts to God. What an experience and I KNOW I will have more to tell 🙂