This update comes from Alyssa E.:
Day 2 in Manizales was not the day I was expecting, but it was the day that I needed. Right before I came to Colombia, I thought that when I came to this country I would get away from the issues and the negative feelings that I had in America, but that's not exactly how it works.
Monday I was incredibly distracted and the enemy was really trying to use all my hardships back at home against me. By Tuesday, many of my team members had talked to me early in the morning about realizing that I wasn't feeling quite comfortable. I had told them that I had been feeling pretty alone, especially because my family wasn't here and I was in a brand new place. I spent the day observing two of my team members share the gospel throughout the whole day. By the end of the day, I had finally realized that God was teaching me how to let go and talk about the hardships that I was experiencing rather than holding it all in. Jeff had told that there is truly a great power in sharing what we're going through, and he couldn't be more right.
That night during our debrief, I shared with my team that I had been struggling with some hardships so far and feeling very discouraged. That wasn't the only thing I wanted to share though. I wanted to share that I had felt an incredibly unique love from my team members that whole day that I had been feeling down. I had some of the adults approach me and tell me that they would "fill in" as my parents since my parents were back home. I also had some amazing friends encourage me continuously throughout the whole day and make me feel very loved. God blessed me with an amazing team and knew just who needed to be on this trip. They had prayed over me as I was going through my "broken heart" moment.
Since I'm technically writing this on day 3, I am happy to announce that I had an incredibly encouraging day and I am filled with so much joy. God is so good – He answers our prayers and is working in so many people's hearts here, including mine.