Running away?

The albergue (orphanage) has a wonderful volunteer set up.  Seriously, it's ingenious.

Short term volunteers (6 months or less), like myself, pay $20 a day for three meals, a bed, a hot shower, bottled water, and internet access.  It seems like a really great deal.  Until you realize that long term volunteers (6 months or longer), like everyone else who works here, pay just $1 a day for the same set up.  

I did the math.  Rather than the $440 I paid to stay here for three weeks, I would be spending just $180 to stay for 6 months.

Needless to say, I've considered staying longer.  And not just for the financial discount.  I love it here.  Plus, I came in at such a time of great transition, it seems silly to leave so soon.  

I've had many discussions with the long term volunteers on this very topic.  One in particular has left me stumped.  It started with a small, sideways comment about all my "drama."  Estelle, the Australian volunteer, joked, "It does seem like you have quite a bit of drama.  Are you sure you're not running away?"  (her delightful accent means she can get away with blunt questions)

I admitted that at first I wondered if maybe that wasn't what this trip was all about, but then the Lord only released me to come to Peru for the month of July.  Not a very long time to run away.

She smiled and said, "Well that settles it, then.  I'll stop bugging you to stay longer.  Perhaps God needs you to return home so you can face reality again."

Is that it, Lord?  Is that why I'm only called to be here for one month?  If I stayed longer, would I only be prolonging whatever it is You have waiting for me back home?  Do You have something waiting for me back home?  Because right now, my prospects are rather slim. I'm  technically homeless (though not shelterless, thanks to the generosity of my family).  I'm unemployed.  And my marital status is still the lonely "S."  Returning to Oregon means returning to the air mattress, beginning the arduous task of job-hunting, and moving...again.  What if I just stayed here?

Here, my gifts could be used so naturally.  I could love these children.  I could bless the orphanage with my Spanish.  I could grow.

And that's when it hit me: perhaps by staying longer I would be running away.  Perhaps my motives aren't so pure as they seem.

If I really trust that God will use me anywhere, why am I so scared to go back home?  And why am I allowing that fear to disrupt my limited time here?

I pray that the Lord will continue to send convicting questions my way.  I pray that He will never cease in stirring my heart.  And above all else, I pray that I will learn to stop hesitating and start simply answering with "yes."

"Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete." (2 Corinthians 1:20-22 Message)


Carol J. Brown said…
Already so many adventures. Hope your sinus infection is on the mend soon. Glad your accommodations are so nice. (Your very own bathroom! How wonderful is that!)

Love, Aunt Carol
Kendra said…
Praying for wisdom. I can see why you would be torn...
Hope this finds you feeling much better. Loved reading your posts!
When do your student loans start becoming due? Can't run away from those. Perhaps you could do some skype interviews and see if what comes up and then decide.
Praying for you! Confident you will make the best decision.