Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Bittersweet Mixture of Joy and Pain

Where do I even begin? There is so much to say. So much to tell. Do I start with the details of my day? Or with the cry of my heart? I think I'll just start and see where we end.

I have been here three days and I feel like I have been here forever (in a good way). I spend a lot of time with the short term mission teams here and today we picked up trash at the school grounds and then did a VBS in the afternoon. The days are exhausting but wonderful. It is such a blessing to see people serving God and loving on kids. Tonight we ate Apache burgers (fry bread is SO good) and then I got to meet a bunch of the Apache students as they came to hang out at the Kennel (the youth center) after their youth group. I was a crazy extroverted (white) nut dancing around and being silly, but I think it broke some barriers with the kids and I am looking forward to getting to be around them a little bit more. It is definitely hot here and I have to drink sooooo much water but every minute is absolutely worth it.

But let's get serious. You drive into the rez and at first you don't see it, the pain that is. The beauty of nature surrounding this broken place seems to overshadow it for a moment. But then you look into the eyes of these students. You see the barriers they have built up, thick walls to guard themselves from any more pain. You see the marks on their arms and you see them looking for love in all the wrong ways. You hear the snippets of stories. Her parents just left her at the neighbor's house one day and never came back. She lives with cousins, aunts, uncles. You see their homes. For these kids rape, drug abuse, alcohol, and sexual abuse are just normal everyday things. In one year at the high school there were 300 cases of drug or alcohol abuse. There are only 500 kids at the school. But you can't just sit back and judge or blame. These kids have faced pain like we have never imagined. They have been hurt in ways you cannot dream of. They are stuck in generational poverty and the only one that can save them is Jesus Christ.

So yes, my heart is a little overwhelmed. It is so hard to sit back knowing that these kids are having to deal with these things and not being able to fix it. So I have no choice but to trust. I have to trust that our God is sovereign and that He will bring reconciliation, justice, and peace to this place. I have to trust that He will use me in some way, no matter how small. I have to pray harder than I have prayed in a long time. Because this is the reservation, and I may have a lot of school knowledge, but now I have to figure out how to make it work out here. I cannot fix the rez, I know that, but I can be faithful to be God's servant here.

And that is where we will end. After a long day I will go to bed with a mixture of joy and sadness in my heart. For this place is broken and full of pain, but my God has overcome it all. He has already won the battle and He is victorious. 

1 comment:

  1. ...and i will pray harder with you...keep your eyes on Jesus meredith...look up and see those spectacular stars you wrote about...He made them for those apache kids...and He sent them you...and He is there walking right beside all of you...i love you elaine/ccww