Monday, October 8, 2012

a reflection on two years

[This post was written in July 2012]

A little over two years ago, I was commuting from JoCo to KCMO everyday for work.  Through my job, I had the privilege of getting to know many wonderful Latino families on both sides of the state line.  I remember a conversation I had with one Latina mom that would end up becoming a turning point for me.  I asked her how long her family had lived in Kansas City.  She answered and asked me if I lived in KCK or KCMO...I hesitated before admitting that I lived in JoCo.  I could feel a wall begin to form between us.  Despite my Mexican heritage and years of studying Spanish, I could not relate to her.  We lived in different worlds.

Around the same time,  I began volunteering at LIT (Leaders in Training, Mission Adelante's after-school program).  It didn't take long for my heart to grow fond of the children and community.  On February 15th, 2010, I wrote:
I am a passionate person. If I commit to doing something, I will do it whole-heartedly. I will give every ounce of energy I have to do the best that I can do with the given situation.
I have recently committed to spending 2.5 hours a week with a great group of kids. Just 2.5 hours. During these 2.5 hours, I try to make myself completely available. But when the time is up, I struggle to walk out the door and leave the neighborhood behind. 
These kids have my heart and they don't even know it.
Within days of writing this, I had coffee with Megan, the director of children's ministry at Mission Adelante, and I shared my heart and some tears with her.  She told me about a great place to live and promised she would try to find me a roommate.  A few months later, I had moved to KCK with Molly, my new roommate and friend!

Today--just two years later--I live, work, go to church, and volunteer all within a one mile radius.  This community is no longer a volunteer opportunity or work assignment.  It is my home.  These are my people.  I may still lead a very different life from that Latina mom, but now I'm just down the street. :)

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