I spent the last week with 20 other people in Campuzano.
A small community just outside Nindiri, Nicaragua.
We travel to Nicaragua in partnership with Bridges to Community and with a local Reformed Jewish congregation. There were 65 of us all together. Mostly high school students with a handful of adults thrown in. As we have done in the past, we spent the week building homes with and for two families in that community.
Now I am back home.
Back at my desk.
Responding to email.
Answering the phone.
Getting over a cold and getting ready for the responsibilities and meetings of the coming week.
One evening while we were there, after mixing cement all day, our evening reflection was a conversation about the values behind why we do what we do. Why do two congregations – one Christian and one Jewish – commit time and energy and resources to support these trips? The springboard for our conversation was several passages from Hebrew and Christian scripture and the Jewish concept of healing the world. It is that idea I found myself thinking about for most of the rest of the week. It is easy to see how building a cement block home with a tile floor and a roof that does not leak adds to healing the world, but what I found myself thinking about the most is what part of me is broken and what part of the culture in which I live is broken and how those Nicaraguans with whom I lived and worked for the week helped to heal me. While I am still working on that question, one thing I did realize is that if our understanding of healing it is only a one way street – my going there to fix/heal them – then I have missed the mark and missed the graciousness and grace and healing which they offer to me.
I am back home, again.
Tired, but a bit more whole.