Letters and gifts have been exchanged for 6 years but our eyes have never met. On Friday, we embraced for the first time. He had the most beautiful smile that lights up the room, and a tender, sweet and bashful personality…and those eyes, oh my!
He wants to be a pediatrician because he wants help kids. I wanted to take him home the second I met him. He loves cooking and basketball; he is my kind of man. We fell in love in one day.
Stephen and Isabel picked up his packet years ago and sponsored him. Stephen has been writing the letters to Jeremy, but I got to meet him. What a great day it was.
This last week in Bolivia was packed with amazing experiences that I shall never forget. Everyday was filled with moments of heaven and moments of emotion and joy and sorrow. But today was like spring. He came to meet me, and this 12-year-old boy greeted me with so much love. I am so proud of him.
For the last six days, I have been in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I have met the most loving and affectionate children in the world. I bonded with some pre-teen girls who became my buddies this week while I missed my family. I put new shoes the blistered feet of children who had been wearing shoes that were too small and worn out.
I cried with a mother because of the difficulty she has putting food on the table. I watched a grandmother have her ulcerated infected wound cleaned by two of our team members. I laughed at the joy of these children.
I cried when a child from the project showed up to our hotel with tears in her eyes, because she wanted someone to sponsor her this week. She had spent the night before crying after we all said good-bye. Over and over my emotions were rocked.
It’s funny. I can’t really explain how in one week I can be in the Philippines and hold it all together and the next trip I am so torn up with emotion. Wednesday, it all came like a hurricane and it surfaced, and whatever was inside me finally came out in the boohoo ugly cry. I felt like I had had enough of poverty, I missed my family and I hurt. I just hurt!
I am ready to go home. I have 7 days home until my next trip. My husband says I am his favorite guest right now. I have traveled extensively over the last 7 weeks. I come home and then I leave. My kids are missing their mother. My husband is missing me. One more trip to go in a week and then I am off the road and planning to stay put until my family goes on the mission trip together. It’s been crazy.
I must admit, I have wrestled with God and all that I have seen over the last few weeks. I wonder why he has put an emotional woman like me in places like this. I break over and over. Yet I see the results and the hope in these children who live in the darkest corners of the earth and they become my inspiration.
I am definitely tired and possibly a bit road weary. The moon has cycled completely since I started my travel back in Colorado Springs one month ago, and my friends can’t keep track of where I am. However, this journey has taught me much about gratitude and generosity. Those who live in poverty, or have lived in poverty, are the most generous people in this world. I am convinced of this and there is much to learn from their giving. This has been my GREAT lesson. I have also met some amazing people who I now consider friends. I am excited to see how God uses these fellow travelers in my own life.
So I am taking a deep breath and closing up another trip. I fell in love in a day and it was sweet. Now I am so excited to wrap my arms around my own babies and husband, and journey to my favorite place in the world…HOME.
I made this video for Trinity Methodist Church and for teaching me how to love better. This will always remind me of the amazing trip we had together. Thank you so much and I am grateful.
Music by Matt Maher – Sing over your Children
Music by Switchfoot – I dare you to move
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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