Talanga's wheel chair and food distribution was powerful for me and I know from testimony for others in the group. It started with a woman who lost her leg...and told the group that until we have known suffering and seen our faith persevere, we do not really know if we are children of God. She also shared some of the many sufferings that have visited her in her life...and praised God for them, that they have brought her closer to Him.
It was frustrating a bit because the plan of action to distribute everything seemed a bit disjointed with pastor Celeo...but it was the first time we have done anything like that, and it was a good reminder to me that we are in fact in a different culture (you would think that would be hard to forget) and although more order when working with a large group that could have done even more would have been good...everything we took we were able to leave there for Celeo to distribute later...I packed extra rice especially for just such a purpose.
Visiting a home a little later that morning, a woman who also lost her leg, to diabetes, I took this picture as this scene just grabbed me as the group tried to stuff themselves into this little house.. If you click on the picture I believe you can see the image full size...and that is just a glimpse of the joy that is brought to the faces of people by hearing the amazing talent through the violin that Nicole has. Praying for her and her son/caregiver was so meaningful to them...and harder still was the next house where we visited a 42 year old woman (who looked like a 15 year old girl) who was a deaf mute, could not move by herself and lived in a little room that her sister rented for her (her parents both died a few years ago) who had been living this way since she was four years old (meningitis? Hard to know what really happened here often times, as the nurse thought it was related to tonsillitis)
This group picture was taken right in the heart of town...a rather large Ceiba tree. Seeing a tree this big does not happen every day for us here...let alone in town, with houses all around. How many hundreds of years old would that tree be? How nice of a tree house complex could be built in it? This group has been spectacular in not only just doing duties, performing tasks, etc. but in doing them with gusto, with passion, and with faith in knowing that God is doing something through it all, and being glorified. One of the reasons I think we have been blessed this way I am sure has to do with all the family and friends in the US that have shown that they are continuing to pray for them...something that sometimes gets overlooked, but is critically important...the unsung heroes perhaps here on Earth, but notice is being taken by Him.
And before we headed out to let the group souvenir shop we stopped by the property we are trying to buy there in Talanga for the Church. In a neighborhood that has not one Church in it, just looking at it excites me with what God has in mind for it. Buying the property will be one thing...getting it built up to where it needs to be will be a great and exciting challenge as well for quite a while, yet another opportunity for prayer and commitment to God's guidance.