What a Crazy-Fantastic week and what a SUPER-AWESOME bunch you are!
This week you chaps managed to fill my entire car to the brim (only a small space for me to drive!) with bag upon bag of AMAZING blessings for the people of Guatemala, you gave shoes, backpacks, school, medical and dental supplies. It took three people and two trips to unload Betty-the bug and person commented on how fabulous my friends must be. I agree. YOU CHAPS ROCK!
You have also donated so very generously to the on-line giving site for our trip; I'm unable to see exactly who but we're told we will get a report soon - between now and then Thank You SO Much.
I know many of you are praying for us and I have to say that we covet every one of your prayers. They are making a HUGE difference already. Please don't stop!
At our team meeting today we were documenting, organizing, packing and weighing supplies into big 50lb cargo bags that we will take with us. The customs rules tightened two years ago and now everything has to be meticulously documented to ensure unobstructed passage into Guatemala. My job today was to work with a team of five children ages seven to ten to unpack toothpaste from the boxes and repack them in 50 count bags! We are proud to report that 750 boxes were opened and repacked without any tears but with much giggling and hilarity!
We also heard of a fairly major miracle that has occurred in one of the Churches we are going to serve. One of the very poorest Churches believed they had the resources to construct a small room to be used as a computer school, so we would bring old computers set them up in the room and start teaching people how to use them. Sadly this week they discovered they were about $1,500 short for building expenses and were about to contact us to tell us not to bother bringing the computers but another local Church (who themselves are in great need) stepped in and voluntarily donated a financial gift they had received to fund the computer room. It is stories like these that let us know that Good things are happening for God in Guatemala.
As part of my continued preparation this week I had to submit a book report. The book i chose to read was When Helping Hurts an amazing book written for folks from the west who are trying to help poor people near and far and explaining the inadvertent damage that can be done in the process. Some of the book was sad, some was shocking but all the way through felt like it was really helping me step back from my unbridled enthusiasm and really think about what God wants from me during this trip. One of the most impactful parts for me was a story told by an African mission worker
Elephant and Mouse were best friends. One day Elephant said, "Mouse, lets have a party!" Animals gathered from far and near . They ate. They drank. They sang. And they danced. And nobody celebrated more and danced harder than the Elephant. After the party was over, Elephant exclaimed, "Mouse, did you ever go to a better party? What a blast!" But Mouse did not answer. "Mouse, where are you?" Elephant called. He looked around for his friend and then shrank back in horror. There at Elephant's feet lay Mouse. His little body was ground into the dirt. He had been smashed by the big feet of his exuberant friend Elephant. "Sometimes that's what it is like to do a mission with Westerners" the African storyteller commented "It's like dancing with an Elephant"
My note to self for next week. Don't be an Elephant and watch out for Mouse wherever he may be.
Next week my homework is to do more reflection on my personal goals for the trip, why do I think God want's me to go? what does he want me to learn and what is he teaching me along the way? So if you see me staring into space more than usual this week don't be alarmed - i've got some serious thinking to do!
As ever, I want to thank you all for your fabulous support, encouragement and all-round awesomeness. If you have any spare thoughts, prayers (or cash!) we can still use all of it so please join me on my adventure.
Have a FABULOUS day and a Blessed week :-)