Hey everyone, my name is Anna Valine and this is my third internship here at Envision Wired. (I served here for 3 months in the Spring of 2012, and 3 months in the summer of 2013). I am half way through my time here at Wired which is about two months and a week or so. I really do love it here at Wired, which is probably why I keep coming back!! I just couldn’t think of a better way to spend my summer than to serve here in this beautiful country with such amazing people! El Salvador really is a home away from home for me. The staff are more than just coworkers; we are a family. Wired just wouldn’t be wired without them! Serving alongside of the staff and interns here, both Salvadoran and North American, has taught me a lot about unity, being a part of a team, and the body of Christ.
While I love it here and I love what we do and what we are a part of, it is not an easy place to be. This January- May 1st I was studying abroad in Costa Rica and I only spent 2 weeks in May with my family before coming here. With this entire year thus far spent in Central America, minus those two weeks spent in May, homesickness has started to take its toll. And it is hard. It is a struggle to keep my focus on what is going on here because my heart and mind want to think about what is going on in the states and what I will do when I go back in three weeks. But I am here, and I do want to be here. It is just a struggle to be all here, if that makes sense. Like Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I don’t just want to be here physically, I need to be focused on being here mentally. That is one of my current struggles and one I’m sure many staff and interns also have faced while serving as missionaries here in El Salvador. This is definitely a taste of what it will be like to serve as a missionary full time someday…Seeing pictures of events on facebook, wishing you could be there…Seeing nieces and nephews growing up, and you aren’t there for them, wondering if they will remember you…Life appearing to go on without you…Separation…Loneliness…Tears…etc. All of this comes with the territory of overseas missions. It’s a bitter sweet life.
Another struggle that was unavoidable was I had to take an online class while I was here for Crown (the college I am currently attending). FUTURE INTERNS: I would NOT recommend doing this!!! It was extremely stressful to try and balance time to study and do homework, with working with groups and serving here. I did it, but it was ridiculously unpleasant, and I didn’t do as well as I would have were I in the States. My focus was split and I felt I couldn’t serve as well as I would have liked. I was given quite a bit of grace from my professor and the staff here as well, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing that while you are here.
While there have been quite a few struggles and challenges throughout my time here, there has been so much joy, laughter, learning, fellowship, encouragement, and crazy fun times as well!! I mean it is Wired after all. We can have a good time scrubbing toilets!! On days off I like to go to coffee shops and read or journal, go to Denny’s with the staff, usually late at night, go the beach, etc. And there are lots of restaurants around with air conditioning and TVs to watch soccer games (particularly nice right now during the World Cup). There is always something to do here in San Salvador, and the staff and interns are always willing to hang out! We are a family after all!
Life here has been fun, stressful, chaotic, fulfilling, challenging, exciting, and all around crazy and awesome. God has been teaching me about my identity and who I am and how He sees me. As well as what he has been teaching me for years, what we are all about here at Envision Wired: being broken. I’ve been learning to be okay with not being okay, and that I don’t have to pretend that I have everything together. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I am strong, but I am also very weak. Yes, I am a missionary, and yes, I have struggles. God is not finished with me. But in his eyes, I am pure. I am forgiven. I am enough. These are all things I “know,” but they take time for me to actually KNOW, understand, and apply them to my life. These are not easy lessons to learn, and life here isn’t easy either, but when did God promise easy? John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I take comfort in the fact that Christ has already overcome the world. He knows what I am going through and he will bring me through. To Him be the glory.