In the early morning hours, overtired Outtatown students ran to embrace one another, and shouted “welcome back!” across the Winnipeg airport. There was an amazing, indescribable feeling of returning not only to our adventure filled, God-centered family, but in a sense, to our home.
Over the course of the last five months, unbreakable bonds have developed. Being on the road, with a new location almost every week, and the many goodbyes with those we have crossed paths with along the way, has resulted in seeking home wherever we are as long as we are together. Home has been within water-filled canoes, questionably smelling 15 passenger vans, tops of mountains, soup kitchens, floors of churches, delta kiosks, and now Guatemala.
How could one feel at home in a brand new country, culture, and language? You must bring home with you.
Our home is one that is free of judgment, one that celebrates diversity, is safe and secure, and is supportive. Laughter, honesty, authenticity, and sincerity are values held by our community. Together we conquer fears, embody Christ, and spread the love of Jesus. With this comes stepping over boundaries we didn’t even know existed. Although it may be more comfortable to be home with your family living your typical routine, we have learned that life is not meant to be comfortable. It is the situations that push us to our limits that allow us to grow, to make an impact, and to have meaning.
Returning to program excited to start second semester, we shared what our break entailed and lessons learned from our time apart. This lesson of living in the uncomfortable connected with much of our group and is the mindset we have chosen when looking at the next few months as we adapt to a new culture.
Traveling with the home that we have developed and the support and growth that has come with that, we are inevitably excited for what is to come. We will embrace every funny, awkward, and empowering moment we encounter along the way, because we know that life is not meant to be easy and that although we may not be at our homes, we have home, and that’s what matters.
– Bailey Brockman, Guatemala student, 2017-18