I decided to be creative with my wardrobe the other day. Instead of wearing a typical t-shirt and gym shorts, I busted out the old high school track shirt!
I tried to think about why I brought such an old t-shirt to Guatemala. Then I remembered. I moved to Guatemala permanently only three years after graduating from high school.
Here is a little information about me: I S.U.C.K.E.D at track. I decided that 300-meter hurdles would be my thing. Why I chose one of the hardest—a.k.a. feel like you will vomit every time—sprinting competitions, I have no idea. Let’s just say I have scars on my knees from tripping over hurdles multiple times in a row.
However, that is what I admire about young Hannah. Young Hannah was never afraid to do things that she wasn’t great at—moving to a different country at a young age and making a zillion mistakes along the way, but keeping at it.
Carrying that mentality into the world of adulthood is a lot easier said than done. There is pressure in our society to always have results. From jobs, to families, to sports, to dating, to meal prepping, it seems like everything NEEDS good results.
Yet, right now we pause. Things are not going perfectly, and it is very hard to get to any kind of results, much less good ones.
I look at the children and families who we work with at Escuela Integrada.
Some of them went door-to-door, selling underwear and being rejected, or worked tirelessly shining shoes, literally bent over someone else’s feet. I think about mothers who carried large cement bricks up the sides of mountains, without the fear of not being strong enough, but simply doing it because it has to be done.
I reflect on the story of one of our school psychologists, who, though currently working on his doctorate, had to repeat 1st grade three times with people telling him that school just wasn’t for him. I consider Ana, the director of our after-school program, who went back to junior high at the age of 25. And, right now, I think about Oliver, a student at Escuela Integrada, who is 13 years old. His family lost their small business with the circumstances of COVID-19, so he started selling masks on the streets.
None of these situations are perfect, and they all include moments of failure, but they are also stories of perseverance, grit, and the will to keep moving forward.
During this unperfect time let us be an encouragement to one another to keep taking steps forward, despite the failures that may or may not lie ahead.
Please keep the children and families of Guatemala in your prayers. Think of their determination and perseverance often—and remember that God only needs our willingness to move forward, even when we stumble over a few hurdles along the way.
“You don’t need to take all the steps, just the next one. God may not give us all the green lights we want, but I ‘m confident he gives us all the green lights He wants us to have at the time. Go with what you’ve got.”- Bob Goff