Airplane over the eastern United States (8/11, 8:07 p.m.)

( transcribed journal entry from 8/11, 8:07 p.m. )

Our flight out of Miami was delayed an hour and a half, so my hopes of driving home tonight and surprising Benji are pretty much dashed.

I do want to say that this trip has been helpful in terms of perspective. First of all, I haven’t thought about or worried about my impending move to Montpelier for a week– I haven;t been preoccupied with concern about how to address their financial problems. I have a little distance (and a little reminder of what financial problems can *really* look like), and I think it might actually help me deal with it in a more non-anxious way.

Additionally, my concerns about the relative squalor of our apartment have all but evaporated [transcriber’s note: ha!]. It has running water and a bathroom–two in fact!– so the rest is icing on the cake.

And saying goodbye to my dear friends and family a hemisphere away for an unknown number of years, that has helped with the idea of saying goodbye to my friends and church family in the Albany area. At least we’ll all still be on the same continent, and with the technology and transportation to communicate and visit.

Still, I don’t want to think of this as my last trip to Guasmo. It may be my last trip for a while– a few years, perhaps, but I really want to go back now and then with members of my family and/or people from the churches I serve. In addition to seeing the people I care about here, there’s so much to be learned as well. Perhaps we could also sponsor the education of one or more kids in my family in the interim.

Thoughts for sermon fodder from this trip:

The power of a small group, a grassroots dream–meshes with the subversive mustard seeds passage/sermon from a few weeks ago. What Adopta Una Familia has done in a few years with relatively little resources.

The power of a dream, a vision, both in terms of getting it done, and in terms of César’s quote about the dreams of the poor.

The preferential option for the poor, and their lack of opportunities, especially Andres and his options–or lack thereof–for jobs in his future.

The interconnectedness of our lives, the people we meet, how one positive change in a community can spiral outward in ripples of change (i.e. roads and water).

Right now, there’s a beautiful sunset out my plane window. Below me, through the patchy clouds, small clusters of light reveal communities with stories to share, relationships to build, people to cherish. What staggering beauty!  What love there is in the world. Sometimes, the squalor of the barrio and the persistence of love in it is the most hopeful thing I know.

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