To conclude our training in Pennsylvania we participated in a time of sending off, often referred to as a "commissioning" among Christian circles when referring to a dispersement of people or beginning of a new ministry.
We sat in a large circle together, those of us newly trained with the MCC staff based in Pennsylvania. We prayed together, sang together, some of us cried, and we broke bread together.
Though we've been in Guatemala for two months, it's been an almost undefinable time as we studued Spanish and had a unique routine that we will never mimc again. We had already said most of our goodbyes two months ago, but somehow there was a sense of temporariness as we knew we'd return to PA for some training and interaction with North Americans.
And so, two months later, stepping foot onto a plane bound for Guatemala felt more permanent somehow; this time we know we'll be on Latin American soil for years.
There's also the reality of our work ahead of us. This week we begin three weeks of training, visiting our partners that we work with throughout Guatemala and El Salvador, listening, learning, and reconciling our new normal.
As we closed our time in Akron, MCC gifted us with a few symbols:
A potholder, made by volunteers who spend time crocheting/knitting these and praying for the recipients, new staff of MCC, and the work they will be doing throughout the world. A symbol of prayer and support as we depart.
A stone, because there will be times of beauty and smoothness, and also rough, hard times ahead.
And a pin with the MCC logo, a cross and a dove intersecting to display our work of peace and love in the name of Christ.
Onward, we go.