Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Balancing June

I really do like blogging, it is just finding the time lately for this catharsis has been difficult.  I am not complaining, just indicating how busy life has been of late, trying to find some balance.  I have been sidelined from running, so for a while I am trying to walk instead...that takes more time, but is important.  Sure I got kicked out of the mall for doing it before official operating hours began (mall walking...it is a crime here, go figure) but it is good.  Work, I mean, ministry of course, is busy (as you will see and read below), and trying to invest in people, family, and God with more dedicated purpose also means something fall in importance...such as blogging.  So...let us not waste any more time and get quickly to it!

Life is a constant struggle for balance.  Just when you think you have found balance...you probably need to check one of the plates you have spinning to see if it has crashed on the ground.  I am not aiming for perfection, but a constant and/or consistent improvement would be nice.  Balance...is a theme coming that I was not planning.  

The group from Swiss Cove Christian Church was pivotal in scheduling another outing with the Church and clinic staff.  This time we went in small groups to do medical care in 21 de Febrero...and we saw quite a few people that needed care and otherwise would have been difficult to get to the clinic, all neighbors of people from the Church, and many non-believers.  I snapped this picture while we were praying for a patient with Alzheimer's.   Often in life we do not have the deep answers we seek to the problems we see around us.  Finding balance in knowing God is bigger than that, and in recognizing that some things we may never understand or be able to grasp...easy in theory, harder when staring you in the face sometimes.  

Some are concerned that I might be leaning to being off balance with the Milk Project growing, and needing more of my time.  I agree.  But...when I get to see a donation given, and then get to go buy a bed, and see it go in to Maryury's house, and meet her grandmother...to get hugs every time I walk into the Milk Project, and see the difference God is making in the lives of so many children...and families, it feels good to lose that balance for a while.  Granted, we are working on that...it is a process overall as we seek to grow, mature, and prosper that project as it seeks to rescue children from a life destined for physical and spiritual poverty, but for now I feel quite humbled and privileged to be a small part in it.

 We visited the Church in Danli last week.  The pastor's humble adobe house next to the humble Church "building"...hits me hard on balance.  We have said since the Church began that we are not financially able to take on supporting the Church like we do the others (no salary for the pastor...but we did help keep things going by his inclusion in the clothing ministry), no supplies regularly, and such.  It makes sense that we have to limit that kind of support to be able to do what we are already doing better and more properly, but to know that balance means restricting things in areas like this, and in areas where there is no Church...that balance can be hard.  But...we know that God's timing is better than ours, and know that we cannot do it at all, it has to be God moving.  That makes it easier, more palatable, but still hard from time to time.

Odd balances come sometimes.  We did a first food distribution with the Church we know in Lepaterique.  Estela (whom we have known for years) went with us from there to have us help the people in El Espino, where they have planted a Church and we have helped before with other activities (clothing, medical brigades) and lately have been hit hard with crops not coming in and lack of food.  Normally we take the corn or rice directly to the people's homes...thankfully Estela was on top of things to know that of the 25 families we could bless...some might be close enough to actually visit, but none really close enough for gringos to walk and take the corn.  Seeing little kids and older women go, excitedly!, where the group could not with their corn was humbling...but she was right!

Cecilia had her 13th birthday this month.  We met during that food distribution Danis, who is 16.  Seeing the disparity in size...was hard on me.  Ok, so I am a dad of someone who already gets talked of as if she were 15...or older.  That is one side of it, and the maturity that is there or needs to grow for handling boys, relationships, the challenges and blessings of growing up here, all that.  Finding a balance for her, for my relationship with her, etc...hard stuff.  I still have not gotten any owner's manual from The Owner when it comes to kids.  Well...there is that one, but it can be a bit vague on the details sometimes...at least for me.

But also what hit me is just...why are we so blessed to get to eat every day?  To get to be so tall?  To be so monetarily rich?  Danis is blessed in ways we are not to be sure, and I am not having a pity party for her...no, that is a mistake made all too often.  The love of God was written, literally, on the walls of their home, and there was joy there.  It is just finding a balance in how we are blessed, to be a blessing, and go do it...how to do it unselfishly, and seeking God's glory.  That, at least for me...is a tough one.

 Balance is hard when you are on crutches.  Soren broke his foot late May (kicking his sister, Tae Kwon Do style...hit right on her knee.  The knee won.)  But he has done remarkably well dealing with all the joys that being on crutches brings...especially in a country not exactly known for being hospitable for those with such issues.

Here we are modeling, at random mind you, two different T-shirts honoring "The Three Amigos."  Seeing my kids find humor the way I do (Cecilia and I were both hushed by Valerie at "Inside Out") and enjoy things I enjoy is pretty cool stuff...to get to the age when we can talk about the complexities and deep issues...whether spiritual, how to talk and address other people in a humble way...or how the Dominion War works out on Star Trek Deep Space Nine...all very enjoyable stuff.

And lastly, for this blog posting (not in general...too many plates to spin in one blog post!) finding balance in the His Eyes mission.  We were and are extremely blessed by the leadership of the board of directors, four of whom flew down for a week of meetings, devotionals, encouragement and just getting feet on the ground again.  (Meetings are hard to represent in pictures...all the action is in your head!)

Balance restored, maintained, and to be encouraged in different areas...the impact of their trip and what it will mean for the ministry overall will be coming for some time, but it was all good.  Finding balance is not always fun...not always easy...not always perfectly attainable, but something for which to strive, to wrestle, to love, and to remind us that it brings us back to our proverbial knees in prayer to the only One that can make it all happen.

Say, since this donate button is always here...how about helping our bank balance?  That is another balance that is off kilter as of late, and it would be a real shot in the arm...now more than ever, really!

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