Wednesday, March 14

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I thought it would be a typical day.

Coffee. Gym. School. Errands. Except, I added in a visit to Paso a Paso...a little school in the village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, a school where many of our missions teams have gone to help.

I rode a bumpy and completely-off-the-map ride with a group of IDC women through the town and entered the small complex.  I'm always amazed at how simple these schools are. No metal detectors. No choir rooms. No gymnasium. And no soccer field...I thought. Until a little lady, clothed in indigenous garb, began to spray down the dirt-covered common area that was smaller in size than my living room. She wet it with a hose until it wasn't as dusty, and then...then...the real business of the day began.

I had thought we were there to be thanked for all of the work our teams had done, but, in reality, we were there to be schooled. In futbol.

I joined my team of ladies who were nearly all dressed in skirts and I thought I, as a runner, would hold my own. Boy was I wrong. These ladies work hard. All day. Every day for their families. And they know how to play hard too.

I lost count of how many times my elbow hit the cement block wall or how many times my shin was kicked or how many times the ladies yelled "mano!" (hand) or argued vehemently with the referee (aka the poor man who got roped into the job) over a goal.

These ladies were all in. We laughed (I couldn't tell if they were laughing AT or WITH me), and we ultimately won, despite a few toddlers wandering onto the "field" and a few kicks into dusty corners or fragile trees.

There was no spiritual lesson, nothing I could give them. But as we played hard and then stood around afterwards and simply talked, I realized that that is all that is required. To talk. To share. To be in the moment with them. Not to think about all I COULD have been doing back at my house, but to laugh with them at the shortness of my name (most Guate women have 5 or more names...keeping their father's name and adding on), talking about how many kids we had, making jokes about our cultural differences. That was all they wanted. And all I wanted.

They didn't want a program or an extravagant, spreadsheet-laden plan. They wanted to spend the afternoon with some ladies who, despite their differences in skin color, were actually remarkably similar. Kids. Food. Exercise. Politics.

God, help me let go of my agendas and simply be present where You are working. In a village. On a dirty soccer field. Not for myself, but for the love of people and of You. Amen.

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