Here and Now

by Albert, Access participant

What I have seen today I will carry with me forever.

We went to the village of Guerra. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The houses were very small compared to what we have in America. Most of them had tin or metal roofs. There were little clusters of houses and then we walked on a path through the jungle or forest to the next cluster.

There was one thing that stood out to me above all else: the people were smiling.

“These people have a radically different life than I do,” I thought. “But is it possible that they are happier than me?”

From my own American perspective, it seemed as though they had very little. How could they be happy? But I’m learning that it doesn’t matter what the outside looks like–it is what’s on the inside that is important. So on the outside I may look different then these people, but on the inside we are more alike than you or I could ever imagine.

In the village, our team held a children’s service. While that children’s service was taking place, Michael, Jeff, and I visited a nearby woman and her daughter. She invited us into her home like we were family, even though we were total strangers. This is something that just doesn’t happen in America. (It isn’t just this woman who is like this, but the Dominican people in general.)

She told his about her life and troubles. We discovered that her daughter had a skin condition. We prayed for her and her family. We prayed that God would provide for their needs and that he would watch over her daughter and care for her.

This was the most amazing experience so far. It only lasted about five to ten minutes, but for me it will last a lifetime. I can already tell that going home is going to be difficult.

There is something about this place that is charming my heart. It could be the slow pace or the love and hospitality in the air.  I’m going to appreciate every moment of it!

God brought me here for a reason. I am not totally sure what it is yet but I know it is something wonderful.