I can’t believe a month ago I was balling my eyes out and wanting to return to the States. Saturday was my two months point and right now, I’ve been here for sixty four days. It absolutely doesn’t feel like it. Not in the slightest. In this mo,met (family, I still love you) I can’t imagine going anywhere else. I can’t imagine leaving this. I have roots. I have this bizarre network that popped up in a month in a half of people who love me and whom I love deeply. I left that once. I don’t even want to think about how difficult returning in May will be; I still don’t know if I’m coming back to Colombia after May or not, nothing is definite or set in stone. But I can’t imagine leaving here. I know it’s a drastic switch from the “I’m miserable, this sucks”, but it’s true.
Last night was Princess Night for the teenage soccer team. It was beautiful by all measures. We have a visiting team from Texas jam packed with teenagers who got to connect, eat with and love on our precious girls. And God just lavishly poured love all over the whole entire foundation. Grown men were weeping (I don’t know why I count this as a success, but it’s whatever). God met people boldly and elegantly. I had the pleasure of leading worship and it was delightful; I love worshipping in Spanish! During the dinner portion we switched from worship to just fun songs, of which I didn’t really know the words so make-shift instruments were created to play along with my co-leader, Sergio. A bucket full of toothbrushes makes a really cool sound, in case you were wondering. Joy fell. No, more exploded. Joy exploded last night in the most lovely way. Not only did the foundation get to love the girls even fiercer, but strangers got to partner with us and have their lives touched by our girls and vice versa. It was truly a night of the kingdom. At one point one of my soccer players came and kissed my cheek [normal here] and sat in my lap during a worship song. My heart was leaping with excitement net and contentment and joy. I would do that whole “this is miserable, everything is hard” thing all over again for that single moment. The whole evening was stunning and delightful.
I’m learning Spanish. Actually, like this is very much happening. People still have to correct me all the time, but I can converse now. I even occasionally translate; that one is more a thing of God because I say words I didn’t know before, and it’s not a regularly occurring things. I’ve had twenty, thirty minute conversations completely in Spanish and that is so amazing to me. It’s so exhilarating. Finally being able to communicate more with people. It’s like a big sigh of relief.
I’m rooted. I’m making friends. People know my face. My roommates and I started having hot chocolate every Saturday night. Sometimes we make big breakfasts. I play fight with the soccer coordinator (Sebastian) like he’s my brother and we argue all the time on the soccer field. Also, if I start referring to soccer as futbol, just go with it. I go out for coffee and give big hugs when I see people I know at church. I say “the amo” a lot, and mean it every single time. I don’t verbally speak to my mom every single night anymore. I have my very berry favorite coffee shops and I’m building these stunning memories. I have nicknames (mostly built off of my mistakes in Spanish, it that’s ok) and we joke all the time. I laugh so hard, and sometimes I’m a ridiculous, extroverted wild Maggie that people look at and say “where on earth did we get her?” I lost that girl for a little bit in the last few years and she’s back. How cool is that? God is moving and working and I have no clue what He’s doing, but thus far, He has proven himself faithful, so I will continue to follow Him, recklessly.
I am so far past existing here. I am living. I am pretty sure that I’m thriving.
I get to take pictures all the time, my iPad is overflowing with smiling babies, crying babies, gringos, soccer practice, train rides and more. It’s so cool to be able to capture this crazy life going on around me. I don’t even want to say “this is hard” anymore, because there are occasionally a few hard hours scattered into a lovely week, but Abba is providing so well, so much joy. There is so much ugly here, but I can’t seem to keep my eye on it when I’m bursting with joy. I’m super tired a lot and sometimes really sore (from soccer and life in general) but what would this be without some bumps.
So I have successfully made it through the few months that every missionary experiences that are really hard. I’ve made it over the hump. And I’m here. And I’m falling in love with this country even more than the very first time I came. Head over heels. Thank you, thank you Jesus.
I’m finally calling this home. I’m finally calling my apartment home. I’m finally calling these people mine. And when we played States vs. Colombia, I played on the Colombian team. I say “soy piasa” way too often (it means I’m from Medellin) and I’m here. I’m rooted. And this is my home. One of my favorite songs says “home is whoever I’m with you”, but what happened when you start having these so named “you” in more than one place? I’ll figure that part out later, but today and going to live this wild life full to the brim. Enjoy some pictures and knowing that I’m happy as awhile, curly headed Magui could ever be. I’m looking with anticipation for more laughs and spontaneous dance parties and weeping and loving and this beautiful life.
Peace out home skillet biscuits!