Crammed in the back seat of a pickup truck my stomach was rolling as we traveled up the mountain passing villages and communities to our destination. It was in that moment I realized why we traded those very spacious cars for a cramped smelly pickup truck – 4wheel drive. We were headed to a birthday party just outside of San Cristobal Verapaz, Guatemala. Once we arrived we piled out of the truck onto the dirt, I practically kissed the ground for we had finally made it. There were children everywhere, and once they saw those golden locks – the ones I thank my momma for – every child, teenager, and most of the adults were fascinated with my light skin and even lighter hair. Everyone couldn’t help but smile, there was an undeniable joy in the atmosphere as we celebrated the birth of that handsome fella to my left.
Talking to the children I started with, “Hola. ¿Como estas? ¡Feliz cumpleaños!” until my charming Juanca politely reminded me that we were in a village where the people do not speak Spanish. So I was left with a smile and a hug to speak to these sweet ones. I soon understood that this was all that was necessary. Looking around at the people who lived in this home I quickly noticed their joy and love for one another. In a home made up of 1 bedroom with 4 wooden beds (spare the mattresses), and 1 room with a table, some chairs, and a fire pit this family of more than twenty was living rich. Not rich with things but rich with each other. The children ran laughing as they chased the chickens and stray dogs around the yard while the adults sat enjoying one another’s company. There was a young mother present who graciously handed me her sweet baby boy to snuggle while we sat eating and celebrating. Our hosts served us with such joy, giving us their best of everything. They did not have much yet they seemed to have it all.
Many months and even more miles separate me from this moment, and still I am left thinking about the rich joy this family found in one another. Once in a prayer meeting a stranger whispered in my ear something I have yet to fully understand. He said, “Brittany, God adores you.” When I think about how He adores me and how He adores you I am reminded of how this family adored each other. I do not have every gift and talent, nor do I have a great knowledge about God, missions, and Guatemala; yet the Father is still pleased with me and He still chooses to use me. Our Father delights in us not based on what we have or what we can do for Him, but He delights in us for who we are in Him. The father finds joy in us, and that is more than enough for me.