Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I´m in love...

...No, not with a Bolivian man - most are short and toothless, anyway.

I´m in love with the special people at Missionaries of Charity. As I approached the gated community of disabled people and the sisters there, I read the sign that said ´´Madre Teresa´´ and could hardly believe I was getting the chance to do some of Mother Teresa´s work here in Bolivia.

I entered the gate and was immediately welcomed by a man with obvious physical deformities and an inviting grin. Cara introduced us to some of her friends there... ´´she likes to cuddle´´ ´´she likes to talk´´ ´´she can´t speak´´ ´´she knows everyone´s name´´...... Beautiful gardens and beautiful people in the midst of a dusty, dirt road, where the poorest in El Alto live.

For four hours, I swept, mopped, chopped a zillion hot dogs, tomatos, served lunch, washed dishes... but I was struck not by the service I was doing for these people, but by the love they so readily offered me. Last night, I was feeling a bit anxious about my time at Missionaries of Charity, and I prayed that I would see Jesus in the eyes of the disabled, and that I would have Jesus´eyes in which to love and care for the disabled. I believe my prayers were answered.

All morning I was hugged and kissed.... my new friend (the mute and toothless one) kept wrapping her arms around my waist and motioning that I was tall. (I get that a lot here.) Another women kept calling me SeÑorita and wanted to play catch with a soccer ball.

I´ll be volunteering here 2 days a week - helping wherever needed, loving people, BEING loved... I am humbled here. I am loved here. I am broken here.

On another note: I took some antibiotics for my wacky digestive system and am feeling much better. Plus, the food has gotten a lot more ´normal'.

Also: One of the women from La Casa de Esperanza, who we thought had returned to the streets, didn´t...she is still ´sober´ from prostituting, and we are all rejoicing.

This picture is of my bro and youngest sis during ''Carnival'' - before I got water dumped on me.


ryanmortinson said...

your blogs make me excited to serve... somewhere... anywhere.

i got this picture in my mind of you traveling through the streets of bolivia in a parade... except you weren't throwing candy to the children, you were throwing out packages of love... i think they were warm and soft and probably pink with a few sparkles... I'm not really sure what love would physically look like.

keep trusting and flying.

katie said...

talking to you online on sunday made my entire week brighter! you bless my life with your notes, your pictures, and your heart for the beautiful people of el alto. you have a truly beautiful heart and you are affecting change. love you friend!

Ryan's mom said...

Ryan thoughtI might enjoy following your journey and gave me your blog address. Your serving mission touches my heart. I especially loved the way Cara introduced you to each person today....in such a beautiful, positive way...just as I can imagine Jesus would have done. (That's how it struck me.) I'll pray that you will be feeling all better soon and will be able to enjoy all that chocolate. You are a girl after my own heart. :-) Ryan's mom

chrislyn said...

Short and toothless...just how we like 'em!

I'm so happy to hear that you love where you will be working every week! I can imagine that the people will be looking forward to your smile and hugs entering the room :) Yay for your stomach feeling better and some more normal food! You and your siblings are very cute - Hug them lots today :)

Mandipants said...

El- it sounds like you're having a wonderful time, even in the midst of hardships. I will continue to pray for you :)

Thanks for sharing!

I pray also that we will have eyes that see others in the same ways you're seeing the people there.

much love.

stina said...


Wow, my cousin is having wild adventures in Bolivia. Who knew? May you know GRACE and PEACE in your days -- that the strain of communication and cultural differences would remind you of your dependence on God.