Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Guatemala Stories (Part 1)

I have so many great stories to tell, but no one wants to read a long blog. So I decided I'd share one story per blog for a few days. Pictured here is Todd's 15 year old daughter, Lauren. I'm not sure of the name of the little girl in the picture with Lauren or that it is the girl from the story I'm about to tell you. But this is one story that is worth a 1000 pictures.

While playing with some kids one day, almost all of whom are barefoot in ragged clothes they've worn for a few days and dirty, Lauren grabbed some wet wipes and began to wipe the face and hands of one of the little girls, washing away layers of dirt in the process.
When Lauren had finished cleaning her up, the little girl petitioned Lauren through a language barrier for another wipe. No me we had wipes! But instead of cleaning herself further...the little girl took the wipe over to another one of her playmates and began to wipe the grime off of that child. She repeated this several times.
Lauren doesn't speak Spanish well (though she probably understands some), so she hadn't given her any instructions. But the little girl saw what Lauren did for her, to her, and intuitively shared that with others around her. Do you think there may be a lesson there for those of us who have had the experience of being picked up by Jesus, placed on his lap, and then being lovingly cleansed of all our layers of filth? It took more than a wet wipe for him. I think there may be several lessons, don't you?

Monday, June 2, 2008

The week in preview

Guatemala is a place of incredible natural beauty and yet inconceivable poverty. It's a place where the Catholic church is inseparable from the people's cultural identity and still a place where most of the people are far from God and for whom the Jesus of the Bible is a complete stranger.

This coming Saturday, June 7, Lisa and I will be heading to Guatemala for a week with 19 others to help with a medical clinic in a rural village near the Pacific Coast. I'm really excited that I'll be able to share in Lisa's first mission trip experience. This trip will be the longest period of time she's ever been away from our kids. That's a step of faith in and of itself for her.

For the next few days, its a mad rush to get some things accomplished before we leave . . . pick up some last minute supplies, pack for the trip, get the kids to their grandparents in Wilmington, NC, etc.

Tuesday--sharing with students at "Blast with a Fast" here in Camden

Thursday--I get to hang out with Chris Ruppe, Dino Senesi, Neal McGlohon (aka: "MC Hammer"), Jay Hardwick and some others at Cypress Project in Rock Hill