This afternoon unfolds as beautiful and tragical as a flowering lily, whose beginning and end span a few short hours...
I shook the poetic nonsense from my mind to focus on the task at hand, or packs at hand rather. I somehow managed to recruit seven 14 and 15-year-olds for this maiden voyage into the mountains of
My former employers would be in complete shock at the lack of risk management paperwork I went through for students to jump on my little plane and fly out of their village with myself and Jeremy the only chaperones. I suppose Jeremy's medical background provided a certain level of confidence, but our backpacking experience was limited to the trips we'd taken together.
We managed to scramble and borrow amongst missionary friends to come up with all our supplies. We ended up buying a few necessary things, but as I attached the last Nalgene I couldn't help but think of this trip in terms of that silly Mastercard ad: priceless.
I had presented the idea after a conversation with dear Flora prompted some intense prayer time. After Jeremy and I talked and prayed, we knew the Lord was leading us to offer an experience outside the village and away from routines. Flora was one of our favorite and most avid pupils. Though her family wasn't much interested in church, they were glad to see her being useful, so she spent most of her free time at the meeting house and on our open front porch. She was so hungry for Truth - her questions seemed to have no end! Jeremy and I spent hours with her in Scripture, but her questions were finally exhausted. She looked at us, both vulnerable and scared, "I know this is right."
Our swell of joy and gladness was quickly tempered by Flora's resistance to any kind of decision. Her fear for her family overwhelmed her understanding of "right." She remained our most regular visitor, but our discussion (especially regarding spiritual things) stayed safely philosophical.
So, with the summer months coming and school ending, we knew the parents might agree to a week away. After four years in Yamaranguila, we had all but been adopted by several gracious families. Though some were still skeptical, seven families agreed.
I placed each pack neatly up against the North wall and went over the list once again. Jeremy would be home in about 15 minutes and we were meeting the kids and their families that night in the meeting house for a final farewell before heading out bright and early the next morning.