By: Fidel Nuñez
Embrace the Unexpected
Hi, My name is Fidel. That kind of summarizes my experience thus far fairly well. This is my first time in Guatemala, I only really knew a few people on this trip prior to Sunday, and I didn’t really know everything that we would be doing when it came to serving.
To say the least, I came into this trip partially blind and not really knowing what to expect at all, but everything that has surprised me up to this point has been nothing but a blessing. A few examples are the following:
I found out I would be installing concrete floors when for some reason I didn’t even know that was a service that was provided. My group is on the early bus meaning I have to have my alarm set for 5:45 in the morning, and it turned out that I am my group’s translator for the week even though I’m really not that proficient in Spanish.
When I first found out about these different situations I just accepted them and my mindset was more towards “hopefully this won’t hinder my experience” than “I’m grateful for this”. That mindset has totally shifted by now.
The intensive labor of installing the floors has only added to my sense of accomplishment in service because the hard work is so much more rewarding when it is being done for someone who really needs it rather than a paycheck. The more I sacrifice myself for those I’m serving the more I can sense the heartfelt appreciation that the families here have for us.
The labor leaves me only more exhausted everyday, and knowing that I have to get up bright and early the next day is sometimes difficult. Despite this, I love being tired. It is very satisfying knowing that I am spent because I have spent all of my energy for the benefit of somebody else, and the soreness is also a constant reminder that the sacrifices I make of my body help to tell the people here that God is present and His work is alive in their lives.
The thing that I was dreading most was being translator for my group, but it’s funny how God takes you for a ride sometimes just to show you what you’re missing out on. Being translator has forced me to really experience the wonderful people in this country and build relationships that I would not have bothered creating if it weren’t my job.
It has been difficult no doubt, but I discovered that I speak enough Spanish to share some laughs and grasp the full amount of thankfulness and faith in the Lord the families we have served have. That in itself has made my time here worth more than any amount of money that I could have taken for installing 14 floors in a week.
It is very likely that if I had not been translator I would have just kept to myself and done the labor that I was supposed to do. I used labor in that last sentence because I would not have completed the work I was sent here to do.
God’s work is so much more than that. God’s work is sacrificing not only your body for others, but also your heart and your soul. To give a piece of each of these things is what doing God’s work really is.
That’s what I have learned this week, and none of that would have happened if God didn’t push me a little bit out of my comfort zone.