A Facebook update from Kelly as the group prepares for the return trip from Colombia:
As TCOW 2017 packs up and prepares to head home to Canada today, we do so with full hearts and spirits moved.
Our time in Colombia has been full of laughter, song, work, and tears, but mostly it has been full of love and the holy spirit.
If you believe as I do, that the place to experience the divine is in relationship, then you will see the spirit alive and well in Brisas Del Mar, Colombia.
If you are friends and family of a TCOW 2017 member, here are some things for you to think about before the return of your loved one:
This has been a life changing experience for us, for many reasons. Because of experiencing a different way of life, developing the understanding that those differences, including language, don’t limit the possibility of deep relationship.
Our time in Colombia has been a time of growth and self actualization as we have the space away from our busy regular lives to reflect and gain perspective on the issues we face there too.
Here are some ways to support your returning
If you want to hear about the experience, set aside a chunk of time for this conversation, go for coffee or have dinner together. The depth of this experience cannot be shared in 3 sentences and that kind of elevator synopsis leaves us feeling hollow.
Give your loved one space and time. There is a lot to process, we are still working through it and may not be ready for that long conversation yet. We want to share with you, but we appreciate your patience until we are ready.
Readjusting to life at home is hard, hold space while we figure out how to be our new selves in our old life. We still love you and are grateful for the many privileges and opportunities life in Canada offers, we just need to reconcile our new experiences with our old life.
Support our new ambitions. This experience is about more than a trip, it is about becoming a global citizen. Support us in making changes to improve our lives and communities with our new found passions.
Our deepest thanks to those who helped make this experience happen and those you spiritually and emotionally support us before during and after. And our deepest gratitude to the community of Brisas for their open hearts, hospitality, and for showing us the true way of the gospel.
I know folks are eager to hear from the gang in Colombia, but by the sounds of it, Internet-ing has been far from everyone’s minds as they have made community and worked with the people of Brisas del Mar.
I messaged with Kelly last night and she let me know that the group has been involved in lots of hole digging, concrete-making, and preparing rebar for the community project. There’s also been a lot of dancing and socializing with the community. Communication has been great, with music, soccer, dancing, and card tricks! Most importantly, everyone’s had lots of time for reflection.
Today the group is off to the beach to rebuild their energy for a ‘tourist day’ in Cartagena tomorrow (Saturday). Soon enough the gang will be on their way home via Panama (Sunday)! For those who like to follow along at home, the flights are COPA687 and COPA470.
An update received from Meghan Witzel (one of the trip leaders) on Facebook:
Having the BEST time!!!
What inspiring youth, and what a hospitable community in Brisas Del Mar, Colombia 🇨🇴
Wonderful children and youth and so much kindness.
Taught sign language for MV #26: Your Love is Amazing to the kids.
So glad I brought the guitar. Everyone is playing it, especially the Colombian youth!!
Our flight to Panama left at 9:30 and we were in Cartagena within the hour. We got off the plane onto the tarmac and stood figuring things out under the beautiful night sky in Colombian warmth. We were so excited to finally be here after hours of flying!
We met Juan, our guide, who took us to our hotel for the night and got us all settled in. The hotel is gorgeous and this morning we ate a yummy latin breakfast for which there are no english words! Fruits, cheeses, loaves, eggs, etc.
On to a day of touring the city before driving to Brisas del Mar.
Hello family and friends, we’ve made it as far as Panama! I write this during our layover (which at this point cannot end soon enough), so far it has consisted of burgers and milkshakes, card games, colouring and napping.
The flight this morning went well, everything was on time and finished with a smooth landing.
The group is getting along great with lots of laughs and conversations. We cant wait to meet everyone in Colombia and see what the next 9 days have instore for all of us!
We send love and thanks for the support we have revieved throughout this whole journey!
Lillian for the TCOW 2017 group
p.s. the view out of the Panama airport is beautiful and the weather is lovely!