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Friday, January 27, 2012

For Good

Excerpts from "For Good" from Wicked

...I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes the sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a hand print on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

...I do believe I have been changed for the better

And because I knew you (x3)
I have been changed for good. 

Well, all of this is to say, I have been changed for the better and for good.  This song has been on my mind over the last few days, as I've been reflecting in Caye Caulker.  Every person that I encounter has left a hand print in my life and the people in Belize have been no exception to this.

I think about the children of the orphanage in Belmopan: Kaiden, Luis, Alexia, and Moses (just to name a few).  These children were so full of joy and took care of each other.  I think there is a lot many adults could learn from these children who worked together and loved on each other (and us too!).

I think about Gladys and her kindness in Succotz.  This lovely lady shared her family and life with me and Beth.  We were able to share with each other in order to understand each other's lives and cultures more and more importantly how we can support each other as children of God.

I think about the children in Succotz at the campground: Leslie, Gilda, Waren, Erica, Victor, and the students from Victorious Elementary School. They are so special with their smiles and laughter.  I really believe you can see Jesus in their eyes.  I specifically think of one young girl who started pulling leaves off of me after we were playing in the yard and then started to braid my hair.  I didn't ask her to do any of these things, but this young girl's act melted my heart.

I think about my students and friends from Alvin L Young High School.  It was a privilege to see them all again, catch up with them, and help them prepare for their upcoming tests.  It was even more touching to me when Jarod, Brent, and Marconi came to church in Succotz in the rain to see me one last time.

 I think about Sebastian, Luisa, the children, and all of the other people I met in the Toledo District.  Their lives were so entirely different from mine: they spoke different languages, ate different foods, lived in different kinds of houses, and faced different challenges than I do at home (and even different than the people in the Cayo District).  However, we were all so much alike because we were made by God.  We were all working to serve the same Creator.  Their kindness exhibited God's love.  They also taught me some cool Kechi words and phrases to take home and share.

I think about Javier, one of our snorkeling guides in Caye Caulker.  Javier was so kind and helpful.  He went out of his way to allow us to have cool experiences like swimming with sting rays, sea turtles, and sharks.  He also talked to me about his plans to move to England and join the British Navy.

All of these people and so many more have became large parts of my story and life.  They have changed me and have made greater impacts than any of them realize.  I know the thought was often that we were helping them, but in reality, they we're helping us.  They will be in my prayers forever.

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