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Slow Down

As I visit new places, one aspect that I’ve experienced in every country is the universal longing to spend quality time together. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to meet the local staff at our new campus. Our new friends would frequently ask if we could visit more often and if we could stay longer when we came. The true dart in my heart was when a woman told us of a visitor who came for a couple days but didn’t take the time to learn her name.
Ouch! My initial thought was, “Did I do that? Was it me?” I know I have been guilty of that. I get busy thinking about all the things I have planned, and I bulldoze over people without a thought of who they are or what is happening in their lives. I neglect to live out Ephesians 4.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
– Ephesians 4:1-3
I want to spend time loving people. I want to make a difference wherever the Lord would have me.

In Guatemala, I met a mountain man named Donitino. He lived in the woods until the people of El Faro built him a home with walls, a cement floor, and a lock on the door, which was foreign to him. He takes great pride in his new home, but the thing that he longs for most is to have visitors. 

In my mind, we were just stopping to meet him on our way to somewhere else, but as we stood on his porch, I realized that times like these cannot be rushed. He was not hungry or sick or neglected, but he was lonely. In fact, after we went to his house, he traveled with us everywhere we went. He longed for companionship and community. Donitino was more than happy for me to take his picture. My photos now serve as a reminder that quality time is an essential part of loving people well. 

We walked through the jungle to see where he used to live, and we looked at his prized antelope tails from his hunting expeditions. We stopped and watched a trail of ants heading to build their home. We took time, and we laughed, and we heard about his life. I was challenged that day to take a minute and watch an ant trail or listen to someone’s story more often.
If you would like to join me in spending quality time with others, I’d love for you to join us for Hope for Her. At Hope for Her, we spend lots of time together, and we also get out into the communities to spend time with others. 
The following dates for Hope for Her are:
Dominican Republic
April 22-26 

June 10-14

But let’s not wait for Hope for Her to exercise the love language of quality time. Let’s all choose to be intentional and slow down—to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving toward those we interact with today.