Friday, September 10, 2010

Part of the family

This morning, I said goodbye to a member of my family. I'd only known him for about a week and a half, but there is no question that we are family.

Since I've come to Bolivia to temporarily run the HOH guesthouse, I've discovered a whole new branch of my family tree. The volunteers who are here all have different last names and come from different parts of the US, but this short time together has revealed an undeniable kinship. They alternately tease and affirm each other, like any close brothers and sisters, and they've dubbed me "Mama Leta." (This name is a bit ironic, as I'm less than a decade older than any of them. One suggested that instead of being their mother, I could be the "young, cool aunt.")

We've talked a lot this last week about what it means to be a part of the family of God, to have a connection deeper than that of blood, and how to live as children of our loving Father.

It's been bitter sweet getting to know each other this last little while, knowing each day that the time we have together is getting shorter. Together, we've struggled with communicating in a foreign language, confronted our fears and prejudices as we washed the lice-infested hair of street children, and laughed with the street vendors who came to our free clinic on Tuesday. It is hard to say goodbye, not knowing when we will all see each other again.

We will keep in touch, I think, as we all continue to process the things we have been learning here in Bolivia. And, although we will soon all be scattered, we know there is a family reunion coming.

I will see you there.

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