Wednesday, 22 March 2017

How long will you be here?

Ernie with Luca
We are often asked by people here how long we plan to live in GDL.  Well, they usually don't start with that question.

First they want to know how we like Guadalajara (people love it when you like their country). Then, what we like about it.  This is followed by, where we are from, and if we left family behind (they can't imagine moving away from family).  Then they want to know how long we plan to live here.

That answer is not an easy, straight forward one. So, I begin by telling them that we lived in Nicaragua first, that our oldest son was born there. Their eyes get big. I tell them that Ernie used to say that he was there 'hasta morir' (till death).  Well, he is still alive, and not there!
Ernie with Alegra
 I go on to tell them that we lived in Chihuahua for 5 years. As it is Mexico, they ask which I like better, Chihuahua or Guadalajara.  In a very diplomatic fashion I explain that I like them both. They then want to know why we left, if I liked it so much.  Which brings us to Ernie's answer to people who asked him how long we would live in Chihuahua.  His answer changed to "hasta donde Dios quiere" (as long as God wants).

Ernie with Aranza 
So here we are, after 3 years with the same question, how long are you gonna live here?

Well, a certain verse comes to mind; "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Prov. 19:21)

When we decided to come here, we thought about this very thing.  Ernie has lots of plans and dreams about living in Latin America (think retirement). That said, God may have totally different plans.  So we hold our plans in an open hand.

Ernie with Natalia
While Ernie desires to live here, or somewhere in Latin America, as I watch him with children here, I think grandchildren (he would like a quiver full) may just play a huge factor in those decisions. Not that they would be the deciding factor.

Everyone here notices how Ernie loves children, how he befriends their children, and can be found playing with them.  He actually often offers to babysit, and we have on occasion done just that.

Family is such a huge part of life in Latin America. They are shocked that we left our 'kids' in Canada. They even have asked why they didn't come with us, AFTER I told them how old our boys were.

 Recently our youngest son ended up in Emergency with a hockey injury. We got the call while at a Bible study. Our friends here were in a state of panic for us. Is that hard? Sure it is. But it is a cost for what we do. So that is when you put feet to your faith. We demonstrate, or try to, our trust in God. Sure, those are times when one wishes they didn't live a world away but our kids are in the best hands - God's.

Just this weekend, as we were at a family gathering of our adopted family here, someone said that I wouldn't go back to Canada ever because of the weather. I laughed. While I LOVE the climate here, one can adapt to climate anywhere. I told them that what would be hard was the leaving, of people not climate. I told them that I had opened my heart to them and leaving would hurt. Like ripping off a bandaid. That is harder than adjusting from plus 30 to minus 30!

Because, life is more about relationships than climate.

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