Sometimes God pushes me out of my comfort zone. Take tonight, for example. Here I sit just outside Guatemala City in La Esperanza, a dangerous squatter’s district. Assailed by the sounds of sirens, loud traffic, crowing roosters, and barking dogs, I cannot sleep. Everyone here—except me—speaks Spanish. I am definitely out of my comfort zone!
I thought I was coming here to offer material support to the Fair Trade co-op I am visiting. However, the stories I have heard from the women here this week have opened my eyes to the fact that they don’t need these physical things as much as they need me to listen.
I have heard from women not allowed the luxury of being comfortable. During a brutal 36-year civil war that ended in 1996, these women focused on keeping their families alive. Nearly everyone here has lost family members, homes, and a means to earn a living. They live here because there is nowhere else to go.
I can bear witness to the importance of buying Fair Trade items to help people overcome poverty. I can listen, and I can share what I have learned. Thank you, God, for taking me out of my comfort zone.
Today’s message was adapted from “Comfort Zones” written by Kay Falk that first appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.