So after a very smooth and non-dramatic landing along a flight path I had never quite seen before (taking us way out past Ciudad Mateo...I know that road to Lepaterique even from a few thousand feet) which resulted in an almost textbook easy landing, I found myself standing next to the flight attendant waiting to disembark. I remarked at what a great approach that was, and in conversation casually mentioned I had seen quite a few of them. She asked how that might be. I answered, "well, I live here." In that instant, she got this extremely perplexed, confused, and almost slightly irritated look on her face and blurted out in an equally perplexed, ironic, confused tone: "Why?"
I have heard that question before in different ways...but it has been quite a while since I have been looked at like I was out of my gourd like that. It makes me laugh inside...but it should make me sorrowful...for those that ask me and do not know the joy of being moved in such a way. And...it should make me grateful.
When I am here...there is no doubt in my mind why I live here, why God put us here, and there is a love I have for being home. When I am gone, even for just a week in this instance, coming back home though does remind me of some things that otherwise I am accustomed to that otherwise do not bother me. That scares me a little...that I would forget where I came from so quickly. It also helps me to remember what happens to short term group participants.
As if that had not sunk in enough yet...we had some visitors that afternoon, two ladies from our Church that left for Spain several years ago to "make a better life for themselves and for their family." We chit chatted about many things, including the dismal spiritual state of Spain...but what hit me most was how they too remarked at how safe, how easy, how peaceful it was to live in Spain, and that coming back they were confronted with the threats of kidnapping, the violence, the muggings, and even remarking about the taxi drivers and small roadside stand owners that have to pay "war taxes" to the gangs. Ugh. And when I think about all the children here not getting any schooling because of the thug teacher's union here striking for weeks currently, painting more graffiti, ...and then encouraging the kids to come out to the streets with them, well, that does not give me warm fuzzies. The 14 Hondurans killed in Mexico trying to cross the border to get to the US, the mudslides destroying homes, killing people because of the heavy rains and poor construction/land conservation...well, if you follow such things they could add up.
There are some amazing things God is doing in Honduras. There are some problems/difficulties/hardships here as well, there is no denying that.
There is no denying that about the USA...about Spain, about places and countries around the world. I have heard it said that some people so embrace where they are that the reject where they came from, almost with disdain talking with those they left about such things. "I could never live in the US again, the commercialism, the rat race, the x, y or z." While we may be moved to different places in life, and given a love, a passion for that place, people, culture, etc.... deeming where God has placed us as somehow being totally superior...or as other places as somehow inferior seems...dangerously missing the point.
We are called to be here. My desire would be to build a home here, one where we might live the rest of our lives should God desire it. I love the people, the driving, the weather, the language, the social interaction (where I am an extrovert versus being a big time introvert in the USA) and the amazing ways we see God working here. Going back to the US can be fun and entertaining...I love the people God puts in our path to help His plans move forward (why else would people put up with me?) the flat and paved roads, the vast variety of culturally different foods, the ability to leave buses loaded with valuable clothes on the street not locked and not have anything taken, all you can eat buffets, and the amazing ways we see God working there.
Neither is my home...that is yet to come and will combine the best of here...and yet will be so much more than we can imagine.