Yikes!!!! Blown away…
Every time I think the scales have fallen from my eyes… I realize that there is still yet more to see. Seeing new things… and it’s not all pretty.
There are so many beautiful things about my new country… yet, there is so much that saddens my heart. I’m being invited to see this more and more clearly.
This is a Third World Country.
Yesterday I took Kelly to an emergency dental appointment. Although we liked the dentist very much, dental care is quite different here. We are grateful that there was some type of help offered, but we sure miss what was offered in the US.
I’m still always taken back by how a a pallet house can have a wealthy house right next to it.
This home is beside the dentist’s office.
After the dentist we went to get an x-ray. Well, it was a wild-goose chase to find the place that offers the x-rays. It began with fighting our way into one of the 20 (or less) parking spaces. Then we wandered aimlessly through the hospital. Our hearts broke. This is the closest hospital to us (45 minutes to an hour away depending on construction and large trucks). It was such a sad sight. Long lines everywhere of extremely sick people… waiting… coughing, hacking… serious illnesses… dirty buildings. Kelly and I saw a blood bandage sitting on the floor in the hallway. Felt like a picture visually… broken / struggling bodies of what is happening at a spiritual level in many ways.
Every corridor we found was filled with long, long lines of sick people waiting. The few “rooms” that we saw reminded us why this is classified as a Third World Country. Yes, we have some big cities and some tourist towns, but based on many villages and hospitals it is easy to see why we are not considered a First World.
I called repeatedly to ask directions on how to get to the x-ray center. It’s rather tricky when there are no street names and no street addresses… especially if you’re a Gringo.
We finally found it… but it wasn’t even at the hospital. The Lord lead us there to reveal a few things to us.
It was a small, one room building. There was one worker who did it all. I tried to be friendly by asking her about her day. It was strange… she wouldn’t even respond to me. This kind of coldness was unusual. Normally, even if you’re having a rotten day here, we respond, “Pura Vida!” (meaning, all’s well. Life is good.) I tried asking a couple different ways, but I got no response. However, her face communicated, “You have no idea how difficult my life is. You are clueless, Mr. Gringo.” I have taken it upon myself to make friends and bring joy to all of the grumpy bears that I can find. Offering some kindness… asking questions… and, of course, offering some kind of sugary treat is giving us opportunities to break into their lives. She shared much of her story.
Life is very hard here. Workers work very hard, and they get paid very, very, very little. Just like in the US, marriages struggle. Hearts look for joy and satisfaction in the wrong places… only to be left longing for the “more” that only Jesus can offer.
The Lord is providing opportunities… wanting to walk in humility. I do NOT want to come across as the foreigner who thinks he knows everything. I simply want to offer friendship. I want to listen… I want to ask questions that would lead them to the Lord.
We are sticking together… we are cleaving.
I captured this image during church on Sunday… Charli was holding my hand (as usual). Then when I looked, I saw that we were all holding hands in a chain. (Kelly and Emmiline were not present because of a skin infection that Emmiline currently has.)
The chain reminded me that we are so much stronger together.
We are fortunate to be adding links to our chain. We are making friendships… we are finding people who share the vision… we are so much stronger together.
I was asking the Lord to speak to me… and give me direction last week. For some reason I couldn’t get my eyes off the hundreds of ants.
I felt like the Lord was telling me that we (my family and those partnering with us) are like the ants. We may seem small. The problems seem huge… but together we are so strong. When we unite… we we share a common purpose and vision… we will accomplish great things! Sometimes it may seem impassable to break through certain barriers, but, like the ants, we can maneuver our way through. Even when things try to stomp on us, we keep going.
Slow and steady… we are moving forward.
We are grateful for new friendships.
Our love for our new friends is exploding in our hearts…
Please pray for us as our hearts ache for our new people.