It’s hard to believe that we’re more than halfway through our trip. We’re hot, sweaty, and pretty smelly at this point. We’re dirty and I’m not sure our clothes will ever be fully clean again.
But, it is wonderful.
Sure, I hate being a perpetual faucet of sweat and I cannot wait to sleep without waking up damp, but these teens are terrific. Here’s why.
We’ve had some interesting meals...and there have been times we’ve said, “throw it into a tortilla and get it down” when the visual appeal was more than lacking. Smoothies are totally different and we’ve learned that there’s more than one way to dress up a hot dog (and trust me, hot dogs have never been made this way at home.) We’ve nagged them about drinking enough water and eating their “salt sticks” to stay hydrated. Salt Sticks are hydration tabs (like a solid Gatorade tablet without all the sugar). When you are sweating 24/7, it takes a lot of work to stay hydrated. They’ve complied, mostly, even though I just might be “momming” them to death.
We’ve had several schedule changes, long travel days, late nights, early mornings, and cultural adaptations. We’ve sung in Spanish, English, and at times, Spanglish. They’ve played offertories, given testimonies, and taught children’s classes.
These kids are troopers. They’ve worked hard to fight the natural tendency to be irritable when they’re hot and tired. They’ve worked so well together.
And, they’ve shown Jesus to those we’ve encountered. It’s hard to walk up to a stranger in a foreign country and introduce yourself. It’s even more difficult to try to have a conversation....but they’re doing it. They’re scooping up small children to include them in games and offering to help our hosts and hostesses in any way they can.
Those who know me know how much I love teenagers. I tend to take a mama bear approach with those who sterotype them. Basically, don't mess with my teens. :) I wish everyone could see them how I do...image bearers of Jesus wrapped up in the awkwardness of adolescence.
Sadly, our trip will soon be a memory and even worse, these teens will move on over the next few years. But, we'll always have this time together, preserved in hundreds of photos and in our hearts forever. -DG