Anthony Montelongo, CMU Sophomore and ASB 2013 Participant

For several months now, I have woken up with a smile. As I sleep, my mind races through past memories and the new adventures that await me in El Salvador. These dreams are filled with smiling faces, gentle hugs and laughter from the people I came to know last year. These dreams are filled with the colors of the dense jungle and the illumination of the sunsets. I can smell the preparation of pupusas. I wake up with excitement and eagerness to live with these humble people once again. These are memories and moments that would be non existent if I had not taken a risk, if I had not said yes, one year ago. Two years ago I could be considered the typical college jock, who had a life consumed with academics and training. Once that chapter in my life had closed I was lost in the shadows of expectation. There was no clear path of where to go next. However, our Lord opened a door, as he always does. Inside the door was the whisper of adventure, “come and get me, come and get me.” It was the opportunity of a lifetime, to live in solidarity with the people of El Espino.

For weeks, I fought myself and was torn between taking risk and staying safe within my bubble. I prayed for guidance to make a decision. Then one morning I woke up feeling invincible. I woke up with the confidence to take this “One time” adventure. As a kid, I had always All this broken hard drive data recovery looks like a potential gold mine, but like a gold mine, you only have a little gold and lot more of everything else. aspired to be Indiana Jones and live an adventure. We say we want to see the world, yet sit in the sticky sap of “What ifs, should haves, could haves and would haves!” Why not just do it? So I did it. I went on the trip of a lifetime. I took the leap of faith, kept it all in the Lord”s hands and here I am, alive. I was immersed in culture, language and perpetual food! online casino More importantly, I learned.

It was in this chapter of my life in which I learned one of the secrets of this crazy life. Love cannot be said, but only shown. It was shown through those smiles, warm embraces and friendly laughs. How many people today would open their home to a stranger? It is analogous to…no, it IS the love of our Lord. I was embraced by the love of these people and by the Heavenly Father. I went to make a change, only to look in the mirror and see the change within myself. So, I returned to the States with clear eyes and a full heart.

As I write this, flying above the clouds, I can only imagine what adventure is in store for me this year. It will bring a smile to my face to once again see the smiles, feel the hugs and hear the laughter, only this time I will be awake and not in some dream. I ask for your prayers of safety and health. More importantly, I ask for your prayers to once again open my heart and ask the Holy Spirit to remind me what the important things in life really are.

Be Uncommon. Jeremiah 29:11