Our daily lives become routines and we begin every day with a list of things that we have to do. Sometimes our routines make us numb to where, and what we are doing. After our Midterm gathering of GMFs in October, we all collected stories of what we have shared and experienced during our time at our placement sites. Our time was filled with short and long conversations in sessions, during meals, or any moment we had a chance to talk.
Many of those conversations were moments, special moments. Moments that we expressed as much as we were able to in the time that was given to us. Returning to Argentina, I was wondering what would be some of the stories that we would all share again we gather at the end of our time. I wanted to be aware and write down certain things so I can remember to tell my fellow GMFs. In reality, I realized that every day was its own story and that it will be impossible to share ALL of our experiences.
One of my responsibilities at my placement site is to collect stories; stories about grassroot organizations, stories about young adult leaders in Latin America, stories of how they are creating a safe space to be leaders in their communities/church but mostly stories and experiences of their lives. Also, once a week I have the opportunity to serve in a local church with their homeless ministry, and believe me, there are lots and lots of stories that are told. What we may call stories or experiences are moments in our lives that shape us, encourage us and reminds us of how God is present in all things.
This past month or so has been filled with those “stories/moments/experiences” here are two recent ones…
The first one is of a young adult leader that comes from a barrio, where no one believed that he could go to school or do anything. Wanting to impress a girl, he crafted a handmade gift for her. A few people heard about it and started asking him for these types of gifts. These gifts were the open door to what lead him to learn and grow. He went to different schools to get all types of certificates and degrees. Recently this young adult got another young person in his community to do the same process and steps as he did. Now, it’s a group of young adults helping each other do things when no one else believed they could.
The second story is of an older gentleman at the church, he had what seemed a special, emotional and very old tattoo on his arm. So I asked, what is the meaning of your tattoo? He smiled,and said, my sister did this tattoo when I was 15 and she was 12. I continued to hear this story of why he let his 12 year old sister draw a tattoo on him, then he shared that he loved her very much and wanted to make her happy. He shared that his sister passed away at a young age because of a respiratory disease that his family couldn’t afford the right treatment for.
Living the moment, experiencing life as best as we can, and listening to each other are moments that we will always treasure, no matter how hard life gets. So, lets take time to hear those stories, listen to life stories of family, friends and people that you maybe don’t know. You never know how God can use those stories to nurture other people’s heart or your own. In this upcoming Christmas time, lets make those memories, hug one another and listen to those that maybe don’t have anyone that they can talk to.