Sunday, May 6, 2012


Another FCO group arrived yesterday (Fellowship of Christian Optometrists.)  This one is a first for us, from SCO (in Memphis TN) and very cooly...they have done this before, know what they are doing, and brought two doctors with them! 

Good to have them here, and after Church today (a little over 200 people total in attendance btw) we had set up to distribute food with the Church. 

My group went out to the anillo to then walk back up to some of the houses that Gerson knew, mostly homes from people that are attending their growth group meetings on Friday nights....mostly people new to the Church (the attendance every Friday is over 20 people.)  He led us through the neighborhood like a shepard leads sheep. 

As you can seen from just this picture...we walked quite a bit. 

Well, we walked up and down quite a bit.  How much we walked total was probably not that much, but it felt like it. 

This is a neighborhood that has had some homes for a little over ten years, but much of the development has been much more recent. 

The houses are mostly built on the side of the mountain...and are under constant threat of rock/mud slides. 

Conditions are rough, and getting to the homes was difficult.  After a few more rains, it will become more interesting.

We prayed for every family/home.  Their requests tended towards opportunities for employment, safety in the rains, opportunities for their children to get through high school, and better health. 

We debriefed later.  The group had a few thoughts about the afternoon, but were mostly quiet...contemplating.

I find myself contemplating as well.  It is just a hard thing to put together in your mind....the struggles, how we can help, understanding their situation, how to pray, how to be good friends, good brothers and sisters in Christ, good stewards...the list continues.

I do this sort of activity with great frequency...words to describe it though come slowly....if at all. 

The pictures paint one story...but what I remember most is people not asking for nicer sidewalks, not asking for handouts, not complaining...but rather the smiles of the children that followed us to every home, the honest sharing of very rough and difficult feelings, the gratefullness for the rice, sharing of hugs, and happy looks on their faces when we offered for them to pick which of the group would pray for them. 

I asked Gerson, who took his whole afternoon to come with us to do this for people in his cell group, if he thought doing that was worth his time, if it was worth it for the Kingdom.  He said somewhat emphatically...yes, and explained what it meant to him, the Church, and of course the people we were visiting. 

And further making me stop and chatting with him on the drive back to the mission house, he has been without work for some time.  (he paints cars..and there are no cars in the shop to paint.  No cars=no work=no money.)    Yet he never asked for any rice for himself or even so much as hinted at a need.  And then...we had a box of the rice that had been infested with ants (how...we are still trying to figure out.)  Oscar, not hearing our discussion at all, asked Gerson if they might want it...they happily took it it...even though it was a box also full of ants. 

We got a hard rain last night.  Not only did it do the normal damage to the entrance gate (filling the gate guide with mud), but due to some storage problems in front of the man cave...the guys had a nice river running through the man cave as well.  And then of course, there is the damage done to the road.  With a slight ditch made on one side, the damage further up the road is not as severe as here...but the rainy season is just getting started, so things are probably going to get more interesting quickly, especially as the rain falls  on my roof again tonight.  

And what about the rain falling on those families roofs...their access to their homes, the walls of rocks and dirt behind them? 

Life...the older I get the more I realize how much God knows, and how little I know.   Humbling and comforting....until someone asks me those questions expecting me to have an answer. 

Questions are many...answers are few.  God knows, and God knew. 


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