Just the other day in the car, my son asked me, “Mom, why did we move to Colombia?” So many things raced through my mind as I thought about how to answer him. It’s been a year and a half since we left Chicago and moved to Colombia. Sometimes it seems so much longer than that, when I look back on all we’ve done, seen, tasted, experienced, etc. I think of how much my boys have changed since we’ve been here and how well they’ve adapted to their new home. They’ve made friends, they’ve become a part of a new church community, they are speaking Spanish, and they love arepas and mora juice. I don’t know what prompted his question and he wasn’t asking it in a negative tone, but it was a genuine question of what brought us here.
So, as we drove, I tried to answer him. I talked about how we love God. I talked about how we want to follow God. I talked about how we want to be with our friends here and help other people know and love God. Together we talked about all of the friends we have here and about the things we love about living in Colombia. Of course, at the top of his list is riding the Metro. At the top of my list has been the people we’ve met and interacted with. I am a better person because of the people I get to do life with here. We also talked about the great things we loved about our life in Chicago and how cool it is that we have friends and family in two places.
As I reflect on the past year and a half and all that comes with moving to a new country as a family with 2 small children, I am reminded of the challenging times and the encouraging times. There have been lots of doctor’s visits, the important decisions of where to live and what schools our children will study in, there have been visits to churches and ministry, listening to the stories of pastors and leaders, one-on-one conversations with people truly seeking to follow God even in difficult circumstances, travels to Bogota, Monteria, Santa Marta, Barranquilla, many visits from friends and family and teams from supporting churches.
We continue to learn what it means to do life and ministry here in Colombia. Just the other day I had to buy some chorizos and arepas for my son’s preschool class, luckily a nice woman at the grocery store was able to help me in choosing the appropriate chorizos. I have learned humility in asking for help, boldness in asking questions, and once again what it means to trust God when things are out of my control. I’m humbled by the opportunity to be here and to spend time getting to know people. I’m thankful for moments on Sunday night when we gather with a diverse group of questions to ask questions about life, faith, God, the church. I’m looking forward to more of those moments in the years to come.