What third world traveling has taught me.
I have never really realized how much of an impact traveling to a third world country had on me until I got back to the States and was able to look back, grasp, and reflect on everything that I had encountered. I have been to Guatemala two different summers, and being down there serving and teaching the kids has been an incredible, eye-opening experience. It has allowed me to realize the many blessings I have, as well as seeing cultures other than my own. It has also taught me to love all that I encounter like Jesus would.
Realizing the many blessings that I have.
Guatemala has taught me a lot about myself and my journey in Christ. The kids in Guatemala are so happy with little to nothing, and coming back to America makes me realize how grateful I am and how much God provides for me each day. Traveling to a third world country has allowed me to look around and see how wealthy I truly am. Of course, I may not be the wealthiest, but I have more than what I need. God has truly opened up my eyes to see that although I may not have the nicest things, I still have exactly what I need and more than enough. In the Bible, Luke 12:31 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” The people in Guatemala really live out this verse. Always seeking and relying on God to provide for their everyday needs. Seeing their commitment to God allowed me to not only rely on Him for everything but to also be thankful for everything He has provided me with as well.
Experiencing a different culture.
Another important thing that I have learned while visiting Guatemala was the different culture. Experiencing the culture allowed me to realize that we are all similar as human beings and there are different ways to live out your everyday life. There was a language barrier, but in the midst of it all, I was able to see that despite many of the differences, we all strive for the same things. Seeking things like love and happiness, providing for and protecting our loved ones, working hard for a living and everything that we do, and also loving God.
Love like Jesus would.
The most powerful thing that I have learned while serving in Guatemala was how to love like Jesus would. These kids are so happy, so cheerful with little to nothing, they would wrap their arms around me and show me so much love even though I was a complete stranger to them. To me, that was so powerful to see their shining faces when they had every right to be sad and to dwell on the fact that they have almost nothing. God’s love is so incredible, and I was able to experience it through the lives of the kids I was spending time with. A verse that I am reminded of when seeing the love of these kids is 1 John 4:19, which says, “We love because he first loved us.” Seeing the kids show so much love and affection to me as a stranger made me realize that that is what God wants; He loved us so much and He wants us to share His love with others as well.
As you go about your day I encourage you to remember John 15:12 which says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”