Thursday, July 19, 2018

the toughest goodbye ever

as i laid in bed my last night in guatemala, the scene felt surreal.  based on how it all shook out with selling our furniture, luci's was the only bed left in the house.  i slept there, and jake slept on the couch - together he and i were leaving at 4am, set to drive from guatemala to florida.  kerrie and luci stayed at the leiva's house, as they were planning to fly out a couple of days later.

laying in luci's bed, my mind raced through all of the goodbyes of the last 24-48 hours.  my heart raced with emotion and i was fighting back tears.  i happened to be faced in the direction that left me looking straight out the window.  with no curtains (packed up), it suddenly struck me how bright the moonlight was shining on the academy wall.

the giant BVSA logo and "academia deportiva de buena vista" was literally glowing in the night.  at that moment, kerrie walked in...  she laid beside me in luci's tiny bed, and we looked out the window together - crying - and giving glory to God.    

this was different than any other move.  10 years in guatemala had solidified our life and ministry there.  our friendships were deeper than ever.  our kids grew up there, our youngest born there.  spanish had become just as common, if not more so, than english in our home.

the village of buena vista, as troublesome as it might be, had become our home.  fears from the early years that kept us from letting our kids freely rome the streets (kidnapping, gangs, abusive men, etc) didn't affect us much anymore, even though the actual risks may have never changed.  this was our village.  these were our friends and neighbors.  its amazing how we adapt.  we actually feel more comfortable in rural guatemala than when returning to visit jacksonville, FL!

the rhinos are our sons.  most of them lack involved parents, so that became us.  we were the ones who cared about their emotions, feelings, spiritual growth, temptations, physical health, grades in school, and if they had a decent pair of shoes.  parenting 30+ boys is exhausting and wonderful.

it also makes saying goodbye extremely difficult.  one of the hardest days of my life, actually.

brothers & rhinos forever
maybe it would have been a little bit easier if i only had to experience it for myself.  but trying to help carry the burden for how it affected my wife, son (jake, 17) and daughter (luci, 5) was gut-wrenching.

witnessing the heart-brokenness of the boys who lived with us in our home was probably as tough as anything else.  hearing them work so hard to articulate the pain they were feeling in their hearts... their love for us as parents, for jake and luci as brother and sister, etc, etc...  there's nothing i can write that will accurately express the weight of the moment.

if i weren't certain that this move is out of obedience to God, i think i'd be legitimately angry!  in my limited ability to see things, i feel like those boys need us (and us them).  my limited visibility leads me to wonder how they will grow in their faith, and make good decisions, without us there?

but when i come close to the Father, i realize how weak and faithless that way of thinking is.  i realize how limited, ignorant, and arrogant it is!  i am reminded of His power, His grace, and His love.  He loves those boys far more than i do...  and if He has called us to leave for His purposes, than i trust that He knows what is best, and that His timing is perfect.  

i miss my guatemala family.  i miss my friends and i miss the boys.  my heart hurts.  but i trust in the Lord and i know He is faithful.


2 comments:

Unknown said...

Hello Brock and Kerrie, I have thought of you all often as the day approached for you guys to leave Guatemala and come back to America for some rest. What you shared here is what I prayed for most when I thought of you and your family. Spending just a few days there in Dec 2017 I saw a little of how extremely hard it would be for you all to leave. I always think of Acts 20:37 where Paul's friends are clinging to him and crying. Praying for you all and wishing you wonderful rest as you wait for what God has for you next.
Sincerely, Mary Davis

brock said...

thank you mary. such kind words. that imagery of paul brings tears to my eyes all over again. thanks for your prayers!