19:46, 24 April 2013
Today was our third day in Bogota, Colombia. As I'm sitting here, looking back at this day, Max is playing songs on her guitar...voicing all my heart is trying to say:
We went to a market in the center of the city, hopping on public busses and looking like real tourists, I enjoyed that a lot. Man, the market...even as I think back on that I can feel a little girl jumping up and down inside of me, soaking in all the colours. Oranges, purples, greens, blues, reds, pinks everywhere!
"I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid,
tell Me princess, when did you last let your heart decide...
I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder...!
A whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew...
let Me share this whole new world with you..."
I enjoyed it so much to look through all the little shops, seeking my Friend's advice on what bag to buy or what magnet will be the best deal, and getting His advice through the peace that only He can give, even in small things like that.
Around 11oclock our team devided into smaller groups to go to different tourist sights...and in the chaos of deciding where to go, I got left behind. Alone. Diary, I will not lie, I was freaked out as soon as I realised I'm alone, unable to speak the language or find my way back home. Should I stay there and wait, but when will the group realise I'm missing...2 minutes from now, or 5 hours? Should I go somewhere...but where, and what if they do turn back, how will they know I'm OK?
"Higher mountains that I face! Stronger than the power of the grave. Constant through the trails and the change, One Thing remains..."
Within moments later, that Peace thet surpasses all understanding took over, and I decided to write small notes saying "I went to the Monseratte to find Jaco, dont worry". I left the notes at several places in the market, asking the people to give it to my amigo's if anyone comes back, looking for one, lost South African girl.
And then I walked to the cable car station at the foot of the Monseratte: the only place that I knew some of our team would go to, and also the only place that I knew I would be able to find, having the cathedral on top of the mountain as my guide. So what do you do...well, you go and buy yourself a soft serve, sugar cone, ice cream, walk confidently, not looking like an 18yr old, lost tourist, breath deeply, laugh at the madness and reality of the situation and enjoy the view! As I walked through crowds and crowds of people, feeling like the only one that doesn't really know where she is going, the song of Ronan Keething got so much more significance:
It's amazing how You can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, You light up the dark
Try as I may, I could never explain
What I hear when You don't say a thing
The smile on Your face lets me know that You need me
There's the truth in Your eyes, saying You'll never leave me
And the touch of Your hand says You'll catch me, whenever I fall
You say it best, when You say nothing at all
All day long I hear people talking out loud
But when You hold me near You drown out the crowd
Try as they may, they could never describe
What's been said between Your heart and mine
At the bottom of the famous Monseratte I desperately started asking around for my team mates, but no one saw any of the faces on the team picture...not one! Diary, that was my second moment of panic! I felt how hope drained out of the situation and then I turned around...! I nearly cried when I saw Chanan and Jaco only meters away, not even knowing that I was lost! Our God is so good...
I joined them in a trip in the cable car up to the cathedral on top of the mountain, not really wanting to stay behind at the bottom. As I stood on top of the mountain, overlooking the capital city of Colombia my heart sang:
Standing on this mountaintopLooking just how far we've comeKnowing that for every stepYou were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
After having the most wonderful and relaxing time we tried to get a taxi that would take us back to our guest house, but for some reason not one went in that direction and was willing to take us. Just then a stranger stopped, and offered to be a taxi for us. Carlos, our new "unofficial chauffeur" turned out to be a cage fighter, covered in tattoo's. Diary, but you know, sometimes the best chocolates are wrapped in the least appealing wrappers... this open~hearted man went our of his way to take us back to our guesthouse and what's more: on our way he just stopped, randomly, and bought me and Chanan a bunch of 20 red roses!! God wanted to give me flowers, so He sent a Colombian cage fighter to deliver them...! Wow!
A thankfulness flooded me as we stopped at the place where we are staying and my teammates came running out, rejoicing to see me. Diary, I really love these people, although I know them for barely three months! Some did go back to look for me, finding the notes that I am OK... it all worked out so perfectly!
Yes, it's true, today was a day like no other...but with a smile, beautiful memories and a good story I can say:
Never once did I ever walk alone
Never once did You leave me on my own
You are Faithful God, You are faithful...