Mission El Salvador Day 5
On our fifth day of the El Salvador mission we acted much more like tourists than missionaries. We drove to Antigua Guatemala, did some quick shopping and then found the Monastery turned hotel turned (five star) restaurant to eat some really good food (and use a good restroom). I’m not sure I would say we are expert missionaries but clearly, we make lousy tourists. First, our bus broke down when our driver failed to fill the tank with the correct gasoline. Two hours later, we started again with a new bus. We believed the trip would take 4 hours each direction, but we had failed to factor in at least an hour to get 20 some missionaries through customs.
So the trip actually took about 7 hours to get there and 5 hours to get back. Needless to say, our shopping was rushed. We also rushed trying to find the monastery. So the 7 block trip turned into a 14 block trip and ended at the wrong monastery turned hotel turned restaurant. Evidently Guatemalan tourists all long to eat like monks. At least they want to eat like rich 16th centaury monks, who evidently ate quite well. But our “day off” was in many ways more tiring than our days working for the church. So I wasn’t quite sure what, if anything, this had accomplished… until the ride home.
On the ride home most of Austin mission team lined up in seats next to each other. Being the quiet person I am, mainly just sat an listened as our little team got to know each other, caught up, joked and chatted for 5 straight hours. Every member of the body of Christ belongs to every other member of the body of Christ. Mission work is notorious for forming life long friendships, relationships, sometimes even marriages. And these are the relationships provide the spark that keeps the body moving through the long struggle for justice. As I watched these relationships form and grow I was more than pleased we took the trip to Guatemala. Sooner or later the 4 extra hours of travel and how horribly lost we got in Guatemala will just be one more thing to joke about. The important thing is we will be laughing together.
So my Challenge to you for day 5 will be pretty easy. Spend some time with some good Catholic friends. Be sure to catch up and joke around. And when your done spend some time together praying for the people of El Salvador. Together we are a great body and a great body can do great things.