Scott's Entry #10
"Goofus and Gallant:
Scott's Split Personality"
Anyone who ever spent some quality
time in the dentist's office as a child (or even an adult) probably
remembers "Goofus and Gallant." If these two
characters aren't burned into your brain, allow me to explain.
Goofus and Gallant are a regular feature in the
"Highlights" magazine, tucked somewhere between the
"Word Find" and the "Which Object Doesn't Belong at
Zippo the Clown's Birthday Party" brain-teaser.
The premise of Goofus and Gallant is
very simple. Typically, the magazine post cartoons of the two
boys side-by-side. For example, one picture will typically
show Gallant doing some version of a 1950's Boy Scout good
deed. The caption would be something like, "Gallant always helps old ladies carry their
groceries to the car."
Yes, Even The
Chickens At Our House Have A Goofus/Gallant Spilt Personality
At Times, I
Actually Fear Them
Directly opposite of Gallant is a
picture of his evil twin, Goofus, doing something that will probably
get him a stint of 5-10 in the pokey without parole. For
example, "Goofus steals groceries from old ladies, sells them,
and uses the proceeds to start a weapons smuggling ring in
Columbia." The moral of the story is that we should all
be more like Gallant and less like Goofus. If we could just
accomplish this simple task, the world would be a bright shiny
I LOVE Goofus and Gallant as much
as I love anything that reminds me of my childhood. The
problem is, I don't think the message sunk in for me. Lately,
the culture shock has been setting in pretty hard. The
honeymoon is over. I am no longer a tourist on vacation
here. Instead, I am a full-time resident who can't complain to
the front desk manager if a) roosters crap directly on
my door during rainstorms or b) if the cook decided to start a
fire using old tennis shoes and trash very near my laundry which was
drying on the clothesline.
As I sit here in a smoky t-shirt,
contemplating sweeping up the poo on my doorstep, I think of how my
"Missionary Attitude" isn't always as one would
think. I mean, I have never been a missionary before,
and have never run across a job description when I was scanning
HotJobs.com looking for my next career move. Still, I thought
that the life of a missionary was filled with prayer, church
services, and lots of peace, love and understanding.
Missionaries go through life praising God every minute and saving
the world, right? However, now that I am a missionary, I find
ideas fall short of reality (unless I'm not properly fulfilling my
During a typical day, my attitude
shifts from a "Gallant" to "Goofus"
perspective. One day, I might be thrilled to be a part of the
community here, seeing Christ in the eyes of strangers. The
next minute, a similar situation may have me asking myself,
"So... is it REALLY that hard to keep from spitting on the
floor or picking your nose while you teach me a new Spanish
For those of you that think
missionaries are unrealistic Jesus Freaks, here is a "Goofus
and Gallant" peek into my daily routine. You will notice
that, at times, my thoughts are filled with cynicism, spite, and a
healthy dose of sarcasm. Is this bad? Maybe. Is
this real. Absolutely!
There are some who might think that
Gabby and I aren't "real people" - that we're made of some
kind of "super doo-gooder" blood. In actuality, we
just took a peek outside ourselves and found that we wanted to try
something a little outside the norm. However, peeking outside
yourself doesn't mean that you totally LEAVE yourself. We're
still left with all of our perspectives, our likes, and our
dislikes. I say this to reiterate the point that absolutely
ANYONE can choose to volunteer their time to those less
fortunate. Like any job, there are times when you despise your
environment, your boss, or your pay scale ($100/month is pretty
meager compared to Gabby's old Dell wages). Still, the
benefits are INCREDIBLE! So, if you have been sitting back
thinking that you could never be a missionary or do a heavy dose of
volunteer work because you're "just not that kind of
person", please take these words to heart. Though I
haven't interviewed a lot of missionaries, I would like to think
that many have these same juxtaposed views of their work. It's
just natural. The key to making it all worthwhile is spending
more time in Column A than Column B.
sounds of God's creatures wake me from a deep sleep. Though
unable to quickly drift off again because of "nature's
call," I am happy to be experiencing a more simple
lifestyle. I thank God for the opportunity to truly understand
the life of the Guatemalan people.
fall back to sleep.
A rooster with a broken alarm clock pulls me out of a fitful
sleep. He is perched just outside my room. I would fall
back to sleep, but the pressure building in my bladder keeps me from
returning to dreamland. Cold and rainy, I roll out of bed
wearing the same smelly socks from the day before
"recycled" piece of clothing means less time washing in
the big sink (pila).
Knowing that it's
cold, dark and muddy on the walk to our pit toilet outside, I find
our "emergency bucket" in the corner of our room. I
am slightly appalled by living in the same room with anything that
is better off being flushed. However, being lazy, I answer
nature's call, happy that this handy bucket is there to hear my
reply. Note to self: see if I can install one of these
when I get back to the States.
awakes me again. The rooster is having a big day, and he wants
me to be a part of it! Though having trouble getting back to
sleep, I am happy that I still have 30 minutes left to lay in bed
and rise to the sounds of the morning.
If that rooster doesn't shut his flappin' beak, he's gonna' get a
taste of my size 11! I toss and turn for 15 minutes and he
still won't be quiet. I get up AGAIN and open the wooden door
that serves as our only window.
I see the brown-feathered menace sitting atop a big pile of wood
just 4 feet from my widow. I grab a plastic bottle and attempt
to hit him with it so he'll evacuate the area. Unfortunately,
my arms are just a bit too short, and the rooster looks right at me
without moving and COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOS right in my face. I yell
"Ya Basta" (enough already!) and close the window,
secretly satisfied with the knowledge that he will soon be on my
alarm clock wakes me up. I walk out my bedroom door to be
greeted warmly by my host brother, Edwin. I make my way to the pila
to splash some cold water on my face (what a feeling!) and brush my
teeth. There is something very inspiring about starting your
morning outside, without the artificiality of morning TV and
conditioned air and water.
alarm clock wakes me up. I walk out my bedroom door to be
greeted warmly by my host brother, Edwin. I am taken back to
conversations in which people said Guatemalan life was
"laid-back and slow." Sorry... NOT TRUE! My
family is always up at the crack of dawn, waiting to tackle a
day of non-stop work. I just want a Krispy Kreme delivery
truck and a nap.
my keester off, I mosey back toward the pila. At this point, I
would sell my WIFE for a hot faucet and clean, drinkable
water. I suffer through washing my face in water from the
Antarctic. As I brush my teeth, I pray that the tainted water
on my toothbrush won't turn my stomach into a churning symphony by
host brothers and I head for the mountain behind the house. We
plan a short run up the winding path to give our legs and lungs a
workout. I love sharing this activity with the brothers.
It makes me feel like a part of the family, and I truly value their
friendship. They have welcomed me with open arms, even though
I am often a drain on their family and have taken the best their
home has to offer. They are truly an example of God's
host brothers and I head for the mountain behind the house.
What has this country done to my body?!?! The lack of a
healthy diet has me losing muscle and energy like CRAZY! I
look like Screech from "Saved By The Bell!"
run up the mountain is laborious, cold, and damp. I pray for a
miracle... that the Lord will drop a Gold's Gym into my backyard...
complete with free weights, Power Bars and personal trainers.
I make my way up and down the peak, avoiding large piles of horse
poo and ankle-crushing stones.
return from our run up the mountain. I take a small load of
dirty clothes out to the pila. As I do my laundry, I am
satisfied that I need nothing man-made to clean my clothes. It
is a beautiful thing to realize how little material things matter
here. A washing machine is just a luxury... not a necessity.
put on my swimsuit and fill a small bucket with cold water. I
use a sponge and some soap to bathe myself. I recall how much
time I used to waste getting ready in the morning in a
vain attempt to look how everyone else expected me to look.
Here, it's simple. Clothes are just to keep warm - nothing
more. You smell how you smell. Nothing needs to be
perfumed. That's the way life should be. Simple.
I wash my clothes in the ice-cold water of the pila, I slowly lose
feeling in my hands. It takes 40 minutes of scrubbing to wash
3 T shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 3 pair of underwear and 3 pairs of
socks. I dream of my washing machine and dryer at home...
wearing a shirt one time and tossing it into the dirty clothes
basket without a care. MAN I MISS THAT!
sweaty, smelly, and cold. I want a hot shower the way
Elizabeth Taylor wants a new husband. I curse the cold water
as it hits my skin. I can only wash my face and armpits before
my body can take no more of the cold. The rest of me will just
have to be stinky. I have a nasty case of bed-head, and my skin is
coated in the film of diesel fumes from the day before. I make
my way back to my room to put on the SAME DARN CLOTHES I WAS WEARING
knocks on my door to invite me to breakfast. For us, one of
the luxuries of this culture is that every meal is provided for
us. The mother of the house does all of the cooking, and she's
quite good at it, given the resources. By this time of the
morning, the rest of the family has eaten. So, I usually take
breakfast alone. Frequently, one of my family members comes in
to join me at the table and says, "EAT! There are plenty
of tortillas and tamalitos!" I say a prayer to protect
all of us volunteers this year, and to keep my family and friends
safe. I enjoy a small but hearty breakfast - lucky to have
food in a country where so many people go without. I say
"Muchas Gracias" and leave for the day.
morning, and yet another time when I don't get to choose what I
eat. My body lusts after a bowl of cold milk and a heaping
pile of Lucky Charms. Instead, I arrive at the table to find
last night's dinner on my plate. Sometimes it's beans.
Sometimes it's beef stew. Sometimes it's eggs with
beans. Usually it's whatever the family has on hand. My
drink is warm sugar water (EVERYTHING IS SUGARED HERE!) I am just
used to the "choice" of the U.S.... the culture of
independence. Here, you get what you get. I choke down
another plate of unidentified vegetable with a sugar water chaser
and head for work.
hike over the hilly path toward the street. I pass massive
boulders, two horses grazing, a woman washing clothes at the well,
and several children. They are happy to practice their only
English words on me "Goodbye!" "Thank
You!" I gaze at the volcano, surrounded in a halo of
clouds and can't believe I actually get to look at this beauty every
morning. I walk the remaining five minutes to the street. I
think how much I will probably miss the serenity of this moment.
morning hike begins. I look down at the path to avoid the mud,
horse mess, and garbage that litters the path to the bus stop.
I miss my car. I miss my garage. I miss
cleanliness. As always, everyone on the path takes a second
glance at me... or stares at me. I feel like a freak. On
the cusp of another day of volunteer work, I have several
thoughts. I miss my wife (she's off on another 9-day
trip). I count how many months I have left in Guatemala and
wonder how I can possibly take one more day. I dream of a
plane ticket and friends and family greeting me at the Austin
Bergstrom International Airport. I tell myself to "suck
it up" and get to work.
third bus to pass finally stops to pick me up. I am happy not
to have to fight traffic. This mode of transportation is
cheap, effective, and the only way for the poor to get around.
I find a seat on the bus and marvel at the diversity. There
are men, women, and children. Some speak ancient
languages. All have a story to tell me. I can feel God's
presence around me, keeping me safe. He is asking me to reach
out and to become a part of people's lives here. Riding the
bus is one way to get close to people here and understand their way
of life. It's crowded... but it's community.
many freakin' busses will pass before I finally get one to
stop! I hop aboard to find 78 adults and 15 kids crammed
into a space suited for 40 third-graders. I kick and shove my
way past the first few rows of seats. I finally cram myself
into a space. It's not a seat. One of my cheeks is
resting on the lap of a Mayan woman while the other is hovering in
mid air. My muscles cramp. Every molecule of air on the
bus has the hint of a
smell of rotten tomatoes and burning trash. I would lighten my
load and put my backpack on the rack above my head, but the space is
already occupied by a box full of chickens and a monstrous squash.
Of all of the people on the bus, only 20% have probably bathed in
the last three days. I'm a proud member of the remaining
80%! I think to myself, "There is not enough Purell Hand Sanitizer on the GLOBE to keep me
from getting sick this year!"
one bus change, I arrive at the gate of my "office."
I work at the Instituto Biblico Presbiteriano Maya Quiche. It
is a group of buildings with classrooms, sleeping quarters with bunk
beds, and a good-sized cafeteria. It looks like a place for a
days during the week the place is empty, save for the other
employees. It's peaceful, hidden in the shadow of a mountain.
here greets me warmly with a handshake or a hug. Our first
item of business for the day is a short Bible study. I am
always invited to play my guitar and sing a couple of songs. I
am thrilled to be able to be a part of worship in a different
a short Bible reading, one of the employees leads a prayer for the
day. I am always near the top of the list. They
obviously appreciate my presence here and care for all of the
have my whole day ahead of me. There is an opportunity to do a
lot of good here. Everything that I will be doing today is
needed by the people here. Without volunteers, the people here
simply do without many development opportunities. I think God
for the chance to do His work on earth.
changing buses at the bus stop that would make a NYC subway station
look like the Ritz-Carlton, I arrive at the gate of my
"office." I hop off the bus while it is still
moving. A cloud of thick diesel fumes engulfs me like Pig Pen
in the Charlie Brown cartoons.
wonder about the place where I work. It sits empty a lot of
the time. Seems like a bit of a waste to me. The lack of
energy and activity at the Institute is draining for me. I
need a fast-paced, people-filled atmosphere.
make my way into the meeting room for our morning Bible Study.
It is typically short. I am invited to play and sing some
hymns for them. Unfortunately, I only know 2 or 3 in their
language, so it's like a broken record every morning.
whole thing is in Spanish. A couple of the leaders speak WAY
TOO FAST for me! It's a bit like attending a lecture where the
keynote speaker is Mush-Mouth from the Fat Albert cartoons. I
prayer begins, and EVERYONE IS PRAYING ALOUD AT THE SAME TIME... IN
SPANISH! I can't concentrate, and I have a hard time getting
into the moment.
think about my work for the day. I have to serve 26 church
groups equally this year with classes in music, English, leadership,
and Bible Study. The churches are spread all over the place
(some 3 hours away by bus). None can work with me in the
mornings. I can't travel at night due to the danger. This leaves very little
time - weekends and afternoons. At best, I'll
visit each one once every two or three months. How can I make
have been doing several things this morning. My supervisor has
asked that I design a children's playground for the Institute to
attract local kids. I also need to create a website for the
Institute and teach the admin how to manage it. Finally, I
have to develop curriculum for all of my classes.
is so much need here! I am happy that I have come. For
many subjects, I am the group's only resource. I am needed and
Institute has a small computer lab, so I am able to create documents
on some hand-me-down machines from the states. It is such a
luxury, as there are few communities with computers here. I am
lucky to have electricity, computers (a comfort of home), and a
adequate space to work in.
times it seems like my employer has NO PLAN! First, they want
me to design a playground! WHAT? Like I'm qualified for
that! I hope they don't have strict safety codes
here. Next, I get to build a website for the Institute and
teach their admin how to manage it. With only a dial up
internet connection on ONE computer, this is going to be incredibly
frustrating. To top it off, the power goes out AT LEAST once
per day, and the voltage fluctuates constantly, wreaking havoc on
any electrical device here. The lights brighten and dim as if
the office were sitting on "The Green Mile." There
are no resources to upgrade anything. It'll be a miracle if
these computers last the year!
I get to develop course materials in Spanish. The problem is,
I can hardly speak it. How in the world is anyone going to
gain anything valuable from my classes this year?!?! It takes
me two hours to type a simple 2/3 page letter. I crave an
English speaker right now!
lunchtime! My host mom packed a sack lunch for me. What
open the bag to find some chicken, vegetables, and tortillas.
It is far more than I can eat at one sitting. Again, I
remember all of the starving people in the immediate area, and thank
God that I have food.
lunchtime! Since there aren't any groups using the Institute
this week, the cafeteria is closed (which could be a blessing in
open my lunch sack. Inside I find some of my least favorite
vegetable (which is a staple here... it's a cross between a potato
and a squash, without the good flavor.) There is also some
chicken and some tortillas. Since the room temperature here
rarely gets above 65 degrees, it's all cold. There is no
microwave to heat it all up.
eat the chicken in hopes that the cold temps have kept the
salmonella away. I eat the veggies without chewing. As
for the tortillas... I need more corn in my diet like Jennifer Lopez
needs more cushion on her backside. I eat one and save the
rest for home.
am teaching a music class in Pajac this afternoon. I wasn't
planning on it, but the pastor here requested that I come, so I'm
is the custom here, the class was scheduled to start at 3:00.
Though it's twenty minutes past 3, a few people are finally
straggling in. This laid back pace is OK by me. I have
to remember that I am simply a volunteer, teaching a
"luxury" class. Many of these people are leaving work
early... giving up valuable Quetzales... just so they can
attend. I hope I can give them something of value.
am teaching a music class in Pajac this afternoon. I wasn't
planning on it. At a meeting two weeks ago, I asked a group of
30 pastors to give me their top 3 preferences for days of the week
and times of day to hold training classes. This would allow me
to develop a schedule taking into account as many of their
preferences as possible.
my Spanish is bad, but every group of pastors came back to me with
SPECIFIC dates and times to come. This wouldn't have been bad,
except EVERY ONE wanted Saturday or Sunday. I told them I
would take their feedback and develop a schedule.
three of these yahoos just told their congregations that I would be
showing up on October 25th at 3:00pm. The problem is, they
were ALL from different churches. So... I just had to choose
one and blow the other two off. What part of "We're going
to DEVELOP a schedule" didn't you understand!
class begins, I find out that two of the people had been told that
this was an English class, two more thought they were going to learn
guitar (though neither have guitars), and the fifth was here because
she heard we were going to learn some new songs.
had arrived simply to build a class schedule, but noticing that the
people who had scheduled me to come to the church WEREN'T EVEN
THERE, I decided to teach folks how to read music. I hope
coordination won't be this much of a pain in the neck in the future.
is over. I had an absolute BLAST teaching music! Though
I don't know everything there is to know about reading music, I was
able to convey the basics to the five people there.
was taking notes and paying attention. There was no
"fading in and out" here. These people are so hungry
for ANY knowledge, that they are thrilled to be in a classroom
setting. It is such a refreshing change of pace from the
corporate environment where training is often an intrusion... but at
the same time... a God-given right.
the class, two young men from another church (who were expecting me
to teach THERE) came to meet me. They wanted to talk to me
about teaching classes for their congregation. They are DYING
for knowledge. They offer to drive 100 minutes round-trip to
take me back and forth to their church each week. There and
back TWO TIMES equals over 3 hours of driving! They flatter
me by saying that they heard that I am a "dynamic, exciting
young guy from the U.S." and they just want their youth to be
exposed to new concepts. They tell me that knowledge is hope
doubt that I can help them, as it would mean making 25 other groups
VERY jealous. I tell them that it is unfair to serve one group
more than another. They understand but are persistent.
They promise me that they'll work more to encourage my heart.
I'm guessing I'll see them again soon. It's nice to be such a
is over. I had an absolute BLAST teaching music!
the learning process was very slow here. The schools
here hardly teach anything! Critical thinking skills are
sorely lacking. Though he students range in age from 16 - 30,
I feel like we're moving at a snail's pace. If I can only
teach this group of people once every month or so, I seriously doubt
any real progress will be made. Maybe they'll be playing
"Chopsticks" by the time July rolls around.
the class, two young guys from another church (that I was scheduled
to teach at) came by for a visit. I was a bit apprehensive of
them at first.
want me to come and teach classes at their church once per
week. They were really pushy. I tried to tell them that
giving them preferential treatment puts me in a tough spot.
Every one of the 26 churches will expect the same, and it's just not
they wouldn't listen. It was a bit intimidating. I know
my Spanish stinks, but when I use two simple words, "No puedo"
(I can't), why in God's name won't you understand where I'm coming
from! They wouldn't back down, so I just had to leave. I
secretly dread seeing them again and having to go through this same
conversation. While serving one church is better for getting
results, my job is to serve 26. Sorry... can't help you pal!
hard to see how I can avoid this kind of relentless, unreasonable
request in the future.
finally arrive home. Though the surroundings are different, I
long for the day when this feels like home to me.
go into my room, a spartan but adequate space, and lay my bag and
guitar down on the floor. I lay on the bed and let the day run
out of the end of my fingertips.
wind down, I turn on the TV (yes... I have a TV, can you believe
it? What luck!). I scan through the channels and notice
all of the imported programs. Though the life portrayed on old
reruns of ER, Kojak, Friends, and others have NO RESEMBLANCE to the
life of Guatemalans, it sets an expectation for how life SHOULD
BE. In fact, the same is true in the U.S. I'm a bit
saddened that our culture is exported here to a place where
simplicity is a thing of beauty. With every imported
infomercial (yes... they have The Ab Swing, The Ab-Dominator, Five
Minute Abs, etc.) comes the desire for material things that 90% of
the population can't afford.
many people here want my shoes, my jacket, my seeping bag, and a
seat on my return flight home. They all think America is made
up of nothing but millionaires. In fact, the
saddest part of life here is that people think life is easier in the
U.S. In one way, they're right. Life for citizens like
me is a cake walk! But, for illegal immigrants, it's an uphill
battle. To be able to send money back to Guatemala to support
your family, you're forced to live in poverty in the U.S. Your
life isn't better... it's just different. I think my job this
year is to tell people that America is NOT how it appears on TV. I
hope and pray that I can make a difference by pointing out the
beauty that already exists here.
finally arrive home. I would hock my right lung for carpeting
and a shower. Instead, I drop my things on the dusty floor and
crash onto the bedspread that is caked with old stains and spills.
turn on the TV, praying that I will find a show in English to help
me escape my surroundings for a while. In my rapid flipping, I
catch a glimpse of an old friend. That's right, it's "The
'A' Team!" Holy cow! What luck! I remember
watching the premiere of this show! It debuted after the Super
Bowl in the 80's!
alas, it's only in Spanish. Ironically, even in a different
language, B.A. Baracus still sounds like Mr. T. I silently
wonder if Mr. T majored in Spanish at (IPTFU "I Pity The
Fool University"), because the resemblance is uncanny.
continue flipping, and curse the fact that NOTHING is in
English. Don't they know I live here now?!?!? I need
SportsCenter! I need Football (the American kind)! I
need The Learning Channel with all of it's cheesy makeover shows and
home improvement case studies! Though this TV in my room is a
luxury, it's virtually worthless to me. I want Time Warner
Cable and Pay-Per-View. I am tired of living without my
comforts of home.
over-dubbed U.S. TV show reminds me that I'm not at home, not in the
U.S., and not able to visit my family and friends at a moment's
notice. I feel lonely, trapped, and overwhelmed. I grab
my other luxury, the laptop, and type up a few e-mails that I can
save to a disk and mail from the internet cafe.
I walk out my door and up a small hill to the "living/dining
room." The table is set for 8 people. Myself, and
the other seven family members who are around. Gabby is gone,
as is the father of the family who is the van driver for Gabby's
sit down, and the family has a small debate about who will say the
blessing. They rotate this duty every night. Tonight,
it's Marlon's turn. He's 11.
all bow our heads an listen to his chat with God. Every night,
without fail, the "pray-er" includes a special blessing,
thanking God for their new brother and sister - Scott and Gabby -
and praying for our safety and success here. The words are sincere and heart-felt.
dinner, there is plenty of chatter. The family is a joyous
bunch. Even without many material goods, they always find a
reason to laugh and joke during dinner. Whether I understand
or not, I am always included... either in conversation or as the
butt of a joke. This joyous atmosphere is God's way of telling
me that I belong. It resembles my family in the U.S. The
table is surrounded by people full of smiles and laughter.
Thank you God for this blessing.
Another meal with new tastes and new smells. Another setting
here where I'll feel like an outsider because I won't get all of the
jokes, and won't be able to follow the group conversation. As
much as this family tries to make me a part of their unit, I won't
ever truly be a part. I can't communicate anything of great
depth in Spanish. It's like trying to explain how your day
went.. only using charades. It just isn't very effective.
want a Chuy's Special. I want a big plate of 20 Hooter's Hot
Wings. I want a Dirty's hamburger. I want The Pork
Tenderloin from Z-Tejas. But, most of all, I want the company
of people who truly know me. At some point during the day,
there is always the empty feeling in your gut that reminds you that
you aren't hanging around with your family and friends. You
miss the small things - the birthdays, the lost teeth, the Halloween
costumes, a beer at happy hour, a good joke, graduations, baby
showers, wedding receptions, church services, etc. Is it OK to
be a missionary and feel like you hate your calling sometimes?
to get ready for bed. I know it's early, but a new culture
takes a lot out of you.
walk back to the pila with my overnight bag. I wash my face
and brush my teeth. It's been a good day. I have shared
myself with the people of Guatemala, and they have shared their
lives with me. I am so grateful that this wonderful family has
invited me into their home for A WHOLE YEAR!
I head back to my room, put on my sweatpants and crawl into bed, I
think about what more I can do to serve down here. There
really is a ton of opportunity, and I just don't have much time
left. It will be over before I know it. What a blessing
my life is, and how gracious I am for the chance to experience so
many different aspects of life on this incredible planet.
to get ready for bed. And, once again, another chance to
remember how much I used to love showers. I try to avoid the
muddy spots as I head for the pila.
am I here? I don't know. I'm not going to change this
place. I know I am here to share in the lives of these people,
but sometimes I just don't feel like doing that. I miss
sharing in the lives of people at home.
think I'd like to go home now.
I bounce back and forth between these two columns on a daily
will be another day. Another day closer to returning to the
place I love. Another day closer to my wife returning here to
struggle through the joys and sadness with me.
it all, there are three things that keep me going. The first
is the love and support of family and friends. Without it, I
would be lost. The second is knowing that there are many
events in the near future that will charge my batteries. The
retreats with other volunteers. Visits from family and
friends. Time with my wife. It's all good.
what keeps me going is knowing I have been called here for a
purpose greater than myself. I am only one man... but I have
been made in God's image to do His work here on Earth. Whether
I enjoy the job 24/7 is unimportant. The simple fact that I am
here makes all the difference in the world.
wise woman once wrote in my Bible...
book is more valuable than a college degree. Pray to the
Holy Spirit to help you understand and gain wisdom from these
words. Pray always for guidance and listen. You will
always make a difference in someone's life."
then she noted this verse...
the King will say to those on his right, 'Come,
you who are blessed in by my Father; take your inheritance, the
kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty
and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you
invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and
you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit
the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry
and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing
clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in
prison and go to visit you?'"
King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"