The Long and Short of It All
By Merlin M. | Short- term volunteer
I for one can’t believe that it’s already time for me to write about my experience serving short term in Ciudad Refugio for the last three months. Time truly does fly here. I still remember being overwhelmed my first day here in Medellin and just trying to take in what would be my life for the next couple of months. And now, as I reflect on the end of my time here I can honestly say beyond a shadow of a doubt I have been blessed to have lived here and consider it an honor to have served as part of this ministry.
In many ways I came with one expectation of what it meant to be a missionary and that perception was always based on quantifiable measurement of what success is. For example, when I came I wanted to go back and tell my home church: ” Well, I went to Colombia and brought 5 people to Christ, cast out 7 demons, healed a leper…” I’m sure you get the picture. But what the Lord taught me more than anything else is that missions is about serving and being present with people whether it is working in the kitchen peeling carrots, creating a giant twister board for kids or ministering in a Bible study. Relationships and reliability are what matters the most when serving. And my perspective changed on what “success” was. A smile, a hug, a silent prayer became my new markers of it. I had to unlearn so much of my “works” mentality and learn to embrace discomfort and to just be content and faithful where God had placed me.
Secondly, I saw and observed the true meaning of service from everyone who works and serves in Ciudad Refugio. They truly exemplify and shine the love of Christ everyday in the big and small things. They serve not from obligation or compulsion but because they long to share the heart of Christ to the needy and the lost around them. There were no better examples to learn from than the volunteers and staff that serve here. I have grown just by working and serving along side with them and truly consider myself blessed for having been given a chance to do so!
Having said all this, my heart was deeply touched by my time at Ciudad Refugio that I didn’t want it to end after just three months! So after been given clear direction from God, I can confidently say that I will be BACK! And this time, to serve for a longer term! So this is not goodbye but see you soon!