Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear God...please close the faucet...or let it rain all the more

Let us start out with good news...and go from there. Soren had his special day at school today, where they did all sorts of athletic, artistic, scientific, and singing competitions. I will end the suspense: he won two awards for singing (I believe because of small number of participants in the category ensured him a win) and one for Bible memorization. Very cool. You can see his enthusiastic singing style here in his duet. He did smile from time to time, actually sang...most of the time, but I could definitely see me up there as a kid, I would have done the exact same thing.

Because of his class having the special day, Cecilia was off from school. So she got to go run errands with me...she was with me from 7 this morning until 5 something this afternoon when we got back. We visited the clinic, we had meetings with Oscar about many very important things, we visited the frame shop for some pictures for the mission that I have had for some time, stopped by the peace corps to see when they would be auctioning off vehicles again, visited two banks (for the scholarship program deposits) then the airport to meet Lynn, and learn quite a bit about planes, flying, and maximum speeds for planes with a tail wind. She got a treat of a $1.75 burger and fries and after that quick lunch it was off to see Soren compete in the aforementioned singing. It was...entertaining for sure.

We enjoy spotting unusual cars here in Honduras and as a normal rule we look for Merecedes vehicles since they are not the norm (we do not spot Toyotas, Nissans, Mazdas, Mitsubishis, for example...they are way too plentiful.) However even more rare are Geländewagens (loosely translated...off road vehicle...very catchy name) that we spied in the very full parking lot at the hardware store (did I forget to mention above we stopped there as well?), although they have been around for many, many years. This particular one had a big honking gas engine, but the best ones have a big honking diesel engine. In this picture you can see Cecilia's very nice outfit for our travels. What you can not see is my outfit of all black shoes, official army camo pants and dark T-shirt...we made quite the couple. Next time we must coordinate more! One of these days when she is older I am going to ask her what she thinks about all the staring and standing out in a crowd. It is one thing to notice such in adulthood, growing up with it I wonder how that is different. She seems to handle it just fine.

Now some bad news, but I have to share it for the prayers that we all need here. Some days, like today, at the end of the day I was just not sure I could handle anything else...no more demands, no more news, no more needs. Ah, how foolish is man. Valerie and I talked shop (do we ever get to talk about anything else anymore?) and then she took a deep breath and said "ok, which do you want to hear first, the Dora story or the Dilcia story?"

Have you ever heard it said "I had to laugh to keep from crying?" It always seemed like such an odd expression...until the first time I did it so many years ago. It is a very interesting defense mechanism.

So I picked Dora first. (for those that do not know Dora, she cooks for groups that come down, helps around the property cleaning, cooking for the milk project, etc. and has eight kids.) She went to pick up her two youngest boys at around 6 last night...but they were not there when she arrived to pick them up. So instead she went downtown to the bank to get funds for school supplies and construction of the wall around her house (both of which God supplied through extraordinary means) As she was leaving the bank...a man came up to her with a knife, and proceeded to press that knife all over her body demanding money. When he got it all from her, he made a motion to do something...perhaps hurt her, perhaps kill her, and she raised her hand in defense...which he sliced open. She was dazed to see all the blood...a few people stopped to help her, including a good Samaritan wealthy man in a car who took off his outer shirt to wrap it around her arm and get her to the hospital. She was very impressed with the doctors at the hospital how quickly they attended her, and that they actually were nice enough to numb her before giving her the many stitches she needed. She finally got home around midnight (I can only imagine what her kids were thinking by then.)

Dilcia works for us at our house helping clean and watching the kids after school. She is not married but as is very common here had a man with whom she lived for many years and has had several children. As also is common, despite the woman trying to keep the bond of family, the man left a few months ago. He showed up last night to tell Dilcia that he heard she was seeing another man and that she better not or he would kill her...and he went on to even greater detail and insults....all in front of their children. The irony of him being jealous for someone he has not respected, helped (neither her or the kids...when she started working for us, he stopped any financial help to them, that was then all her responsibility since she was working.) or even been faithful to...is sickening...and all to real for all too many families here.

The remarkable thing about these two stories...both women separately shared with Valerie the exact same thing afterwards, that goes something like this..."Just as my life in Christ is getting stronger, I am getting closer to where I need to be in Him, all this bad stuff keeps happening. But it does not bring me down or dissuade me, but rather God keeps me going in Him." What a testimony! To be sure...they need prayer in so many ways (in addition to the more than $200 of Dora's money, also lost was $55 of her brother's money she had to run an errand for him....this is a huge sum for her) and these are both things that are not over yet for them.

I talked with Oscar more in depth about Celeo and how we can help him this year and for the long term, and we are very close to helping him become the operating manager of a local TV station in Talanga. Can you believe that? He already has been working with them through hosting a Christian program several times a week...now it might be time to take it to the next level. Of course, that does not mean he is the next Rupert Murdoch, or even Rupert from Survivor, more like perhaps Rupert Archaga (his last name) but with Oscar's guidance, a loan, and maybe some equipment in the future even, we are hopeful and praying this will bear fruit for years to come.

In closing, something a little lighter:

This is just one piece of artwork from Honduras...every business and many homes I visit I get to see such incredible work. To my mind at least it is a huge treasure of Honduran culture through the many different artists, styles, and scenes we get to see in so many different places.

A sign posted at the school the kids attend. I was struck it was in English, since most of what I hear spoken there when I am there is in Spanish, sometimes I forget the classes are in English. The funny thing was though...there was no light switch (there is no ceiling, this is a small bathroom in a big room used for classes, lab, etc. and there was no water coming out of the tap or the toilet. Talk about conservation...no need for a sign when there is no worry of anyone even having the possibility of being wasteful.

It is late...I am very, very tired, with a laundry list of things to do. There is rain falling out my window...which is great because we are in the middle of a drought. We have two groups coming up this month, but just had another cancel in March due to lack of interest. Sometimes you feel like you can not go on, or that the hill you are climbing has no plateau...and there may not be one, or at least not the one we think there should be, or when we think it should be. We are not promised an easy life, or one we can get a handle on...just that God will be with us through it all...and that no matter what we think, that is indeed enough. I want to pray that He would close the faucet...but sometimes I know the answer really is for it to rain all the more. Good thing it does not fall to me to decide, because as I was reminded, quite godincidently today, "we cannot tell what is for our highest good....He has reserved the decision (of how our prayer will be answered) where we should rejoice to leave it...to His infinite wisdom and His infinite love" in Jesus name the promise is true, and in that faith I can say Amen!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Dora's stiches were quite neat and impressive. She showed me today. I am glad to be her friend. She's been through so much.