Day 2 (5.2.2006)

One day, only 24 hours, or was it an eternity? One day, this one day, has been an explosion in my mind. What I know, what I think and hold as reality has all been turned around.

The things Les, our ministry leader, confronted us with represent complete shift in thinking, not even from the Western perspective, but from what we view Central America as. He caused us to realize our Western worldview was superimposed even on the Latin American culture we thought we were observing! Our solutions of Fair trade laws against child labor are not universal ideas, but our answers to what we see as a real need! We failed to see the “perceived” needs of the Guatemalan people. This is what our text, Make Haste Slowly warned against: we must focus on perceived needs or else the solutions we offer will not benefit the people, and in essence, will not be effective in their purpose.

It is interesting though, that through all of the mind-transforming issues Les addressed today, the thing that sticks out is holding the hand of 9-year-old Maria, as we hiked the infamous hill that everyone complained about. Funny thing though, I was so focused on talking to her that I didn’t notice the hill half as much. When she placed the flower in my hand and gently set her hand in mine, I was transformed. I experienced the Guatemalan worldview; I embodied it. At that point, time became relative; nothing mattered but this single relationship between Maria and I.

Maybe for a brief second, on flash in my existence, I did step out of my Western worldview and took one shy, half step into the Guatemalan world. It may have been only this one-second, but I know it will have an eternal affect upon me.