2.07.2014

Why Not

It's hard to believe that in just over a week I'll be in a village in El Salvador digging holes in the hot sun and attempting broken Spanish.
It's a far cry from my current 10+ hour work days and frigid Iowa weather. 

I was thinking today about the stark contrast of how I live to how the people of Anemona live. Disclaimer: This is of course complete speculation as I've not been there yet but I've seen enough pictures/videos to make a pretty good assumption. 

I was thinking about how my days are currently full of meetings and coffees and ringing phones and emails and spreadsheets in a climate-controlled building. I was thinking about how my days are seemingly laced with technology and convenience- from the moment I wake up to an Iphone alarm, my treadmill run, a quick stop off at the coffee shop for a latte, short commute to work, white-collar job and home to relax in a fully furnished carpeted apartment. 

What is the daily life of an El Salvadorian like? 
I'm guessing there aren't cellphone selfies in the gym followed up by hot showers and green smoothies. I doubt there are conference calls and take-out and Netflix. Do they even have gyms and hot showers? Power to run a blender? They are lucky to avoid conference calls really. But all jokes aside, when I think about the details I realize just how different life is for them. So different I'm having a hard time wrapping  my head around it. 

I'll admit it.
I'm a little nervous about this trip. 
In a really embarrassing way. Like I-can't-believe-I'm-going-to-share-this-on-the-internet-kind-of-way. 
I don't think I have been aware of how convenient my life actually is until I started thinking about the details of this trip.

Here are all the embarrassing 1st world problems I've thought of in just the last 24 hours:
- How close is the coffee shop?
- Will I have time to take a run through the city? Is it even safe to do that? 
- Will I get cell phone service anywhere? Should I even take a cell phone?
- What if I have to use the bathroom and there isn't a 'decent' one?
- What if someone is speaking to me in Spanish and I have no clue what they are saying? Do I just smile and nod? What if it is important?
- What if I drink the water and get really sick?
- What if I get homesick?


You know what else I've thought of though?
- What if I speak Spanish just fine and the people speak a little English too so its not bad?
- What if I spend all day in the village playing with kids and singing songs and digging ponds and filling my head with memories?
- What if I meet amazing people that become like family to me?
- What if the food is amazing? (I'm totally counting on this one you guys...I've heard stories! HA)
- What if I miss home but then realize that this is a once in a lifetime experience so a week away isn't so hard? 
- What if this experience so ding-dang amazing that I look back on it and say 'That was the trip that changed my life'?


I decided today that I'm just gonna stop worrying about all the negative, stupid, cushy, 1st-worldy things that are getting in my head and trying to tell me this could be terrible. I'm going to quit listening to all the silly 'what ifs' getting in my head about stuff that doesn't even matter.

I'm trading in the 'What if' for the 'Why Not.' 

I'm going to show up in El Salvador with my nervous broken Spanish and my old running shoes and my pale midwestern skin and not be nervous about all the things I don't know and instead be excited about all the things I get to learn and all the people I get to meet. 

I'm going to trade in my Instagram for a notebook and a pencil and I'm going to write my thoughts and experiences with lots imagery and description because I don't want to forget a single second.

I'm going to leave my preconceived notions on US soil.
I'm going to land in San Salvador ready for an adventure.  

I'm nervous. And excited. And nervous. And EXCITED. 
I can't wait to see how God works in the life of the people of El Salvador. 
I've heard stories of hot, sweaty church services filled with badly tuned guitars, loud singing and lots of dancing and I can't wait to be there in that stuffy building with those people praising the one thing we have in common.

You guys!
This is where life happens. In the 'Why nots.'
It's going to be epic. I just know it.

If you are so inclined, I'd love for you to pray for me and the team from The Gateway Church as we travel next weekend to El Salvador to support the people of Anemona through Enlace . Please pray for safe travels and health of our team (physically and mentally!). 
Pray that we are a guiding light to the people of El Salvador and that we bring just as much joy and peace and Good News to them that they bring to us.
Dear family and friends- THANK YOU for your encouragement and support ever since this was an idea in my head when I did the MochaClub purpose project. Your monetary donations were MUCH appreciated and seemingly God-breathed. But mostly, your kind words and heartfelt prayers have meant so much. I can't wait to share this experience with you. 
xo-