It takes a bit of time to come back from a trip like the Mexico Missions one that I took on Reading Break. I don't know about the rest of the team, but I felt incredibly complacent. Coming back to Redeemer is usually exciting (and it was at 6am last Sunday morning when I finally made it to my bed), this week has been a week of going through the motions.
I have been to Juarez/El Paso before. Many, many time before. It was wonderful to see some of the people down there that I have missed (it had been nearly 3 years since I'd been down), and it was wonderful to see the communities growing and projects expanding. It was heart breaking that LCI had lost many staff members due to the threat of violence. It was heartbreaking to hear stories of people taking refuge in the USA after being shot by the cartel, or after having family members shot.
I realized, this trip, that the problem is on both sides of the border, something I had never really paid attention to before. I've always done a trip like this on the Mexico side, staying in compounds in one community or another, but always in Juarez. I had never had the opportunity to really experience the shelters or people in El Paso. I had never heard the cries of people on that side of the border. It made me wonder: Which side of that border is God calling me to?
So, as I process the stories people have told me regarding their situations, as I continue to do research on the political construction of this area, and continue to see the hope of the next generation that Juarez may be a God-glorifying city, I come back and struggle with myself and my ambitions.
I had my interview yesterday for Editor-in-Chief of The Crown, and it went well. Assuming Senate approves my name, I'll be the EIC for the 2011/12 year. I also wrote two midterms this week and completed an art project for my History of Mathematics course. But this whole week, I have been asking myself, "What's the point?"
I was talking with one of my friends today, expressing my frustrations. I know that God wants me down there. I know that it is where I feel most at home. It is the place where I truly saw Christ for the first time. It is the place where God is leading me. So, why, I asked her, why am I here? It's a questions we've all been asking. She made me recall that my first year here, I felt like I needed to be. She reminded me that God has a plan for me here, too. She reminded me that He has put ambitions and goals in my heart to be educated, because He is preparing me. She reminded me that, as pointless as it seems right now, God has a reason for it.
But I still don't understand, when there are people who simply need to be loved, why I am here. All I can do is offer everything I am to my God, and trust that I'm still at Redeemer for a reason. And know that next year, my calling is to make The Crown a student newspaper glorifying to Him.
So, here are some pictures from various cameras on the trip. I don't think any of these were actually taken by me.
Word of the Day: Pretense
Quote of the Day: "I wonder if that dog understands English, or just Spanish." Kory