Yesterday we were walking to dinner in a common plaza when we found ourselves turning around and retreating from a huge anti-pope mob. We know (and the Pope certainly knows) that there are people who are against the Catholic church, our Pope, and how it effects the economy. Being told to stay in our hotel for the rest of the night and hearing police planes above us, we were nervous of what could happen, but we knew that God was there for us and my roommates and two other girls prayed and just talked until about 2 in the morning. In the morning we got up and went to breakfast with everyone (as opposed to whoever gets up) and the Bishop. My church decided to go to a talk on The Theology of the Body which required taking a metro and walking a ton. The highlight of that event (other than the information) was the fact that I bumped into one of of the staff members from a mission trip several of us went to a month ago! We finally got back to the hotel and relaxed for about ten minutes, then we went to save a seat for us to see the POPE. We all cheered for the Pope as we saw him driving down the road to where we were, shouting ¨VIVA EL PAPA! VIVA! VIVA!¨ He spoke beautiful words in every language he knew to be attending, and I shared a radio with a friend to listen to the English translation. All I can say is, it was impossible to comprehend. In the midst of all the madness that happened yesterday, we managed to have such a blessing today. It was a life changing experience to see our own Pope, to shout ¨Benedicto!¨ repeatedly, and just put myself in Gods grace. It was a great day.
I’ve finally started packing. My suitcase is filled and the rest of my essentials are scattered everywhere around my room. A challenge that I’ll be facing starting tomorrow is my family. My mom and I are going on World Youth Day, but my dad is not. So not only will we not be seeing him for those ten days, we wont see him starting tomorrow because he’s leaving on a business trip, and gets back about an hour after we leave. He leaves a few days before we get back, and is gone for another week. So all in all? 3 weeks without my family being together. Hopefully we’ll be able to stay in touch through this journey to Christ.
Well, we leave for Spain Friday of next week. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here! I’m halfway done packing (or at least, I have all my stuff laid out) and I’m spiritually prepared. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, but it’s finally sinking in that I’m going to another country for the first time in my life. Even better, I’ll be going with other Catholics on a pilgrimage for World Youth Day! It’s too much to sink in all at once. I’ll be logging both how I’m preparing for this mission and how the pilgrimage is going on this blog- so stay tuned!