This week has been anything but ordinary. Protests have been going on for the past week. Seemingly with no end. What has been considered peaceful has caused injuries and even deaths. What should be safe and comforting, no longer is.
What does safety look like? And for that matter, what does fear look like? You see, yesterday our safety was questioned. And fear was brought into play. Well, more fear than existed before. There was always a small part of me that wondered what life would look like returning after being deported. Would something happen? We had 4 months, surely it would be fine.
But now there is something real and tangible to lead to fear. Yesterday Bart was out meeting with one of the guys on the team. Everything was closed. Bart sent me a text telling me not to go out because he knew I was planning on going out to run errands. He failed to mention the reason why. Ultimately it was a good choice because I wouldn't have been able to accomplish anything.
What has lead to questions since yesterday, well Bart was told that where he was meeting Stephen wasn't safe and they needed to leave. Shortly after they saw a bunch of people running. Their first instinct was to run with them, thinking that they were running from danger. They didn't. They waited. And they found out that those people were actually running toward danger. Then they ran into one of our students and her mother. They kept asking why these two gringos were out. The assumption was, you shouldn't be out here because it's not safe for you.
Ok. So we'll stay in our apartment. That's safe. Then later, some teammates get texts saying not to leave the apartment because people are breaking into our apartment complex. Really? I mean, let's be honest, I don't know how true this is. And I don't know how real the danger was yesterday. I just know that when these things happen, fear creeps in.
And what do I do with fear? I can become paralyzed. Worry about what's going to happen. Doubt the decision to be here. Question God. Be angry. This is affecting me. Not Bart so much, but I was already in a shaky place.
Am I trusting in the sovereignty of God? No. This is where the rubber meets the road. Living here isn't rainbows and unicorns. I never anticipated it to be, but I also knew I couldn't live in fear. What's changed. A lot of time, a lot of cultural stress, a lot of turmoil going on in the country. Sure, it might be legitimate, but what is God asking of me right now? He's asking me to trust him. The question is, is he trustworthy? My logic tells me no. My faith tells me yes. The world around me tells me no. My past experiences tell me yes. My doubt tells me no. My eternal perspective tells me yes. Back and forth. Back and forth.
So what do I do with all of this? I pray. We pray. We carry on with our team Bible study. We go to sleep trusting that the Lord is good. We plan a prayer time today with students. We go on with meeting with people. We go on loving and trusting and yearning for a place that's not our home. Heaven waits. Would you pray with us? Would you pray for our hearts, that we would trust in the ultimate sovereignty of God and his grace? Would you pray for Venezuela and the civil unrest that is going on right now? There are so many things that are out of our control and all we can do is pray. Would you join us?