All of this is wonderful, but it has taken us quite a while to get to this point. Living in not just another culture with another language but also an actual third-world country makes things hard. Add to this the spiritual element in which something "bad" always seems to happen when we're trying so hard to do "good," and life can be quite an uphill battle at times. I mean, as I'm sure you have noticed, we can't even blog consistently. (This time I blame being sick for multiple weeks. Thankfully I have finally emerged from the cave, but now it seems like everyone around me has gotten sick. I think it's just that time of year.)
Most of the time we like to talk about the positive aspects of our lives here, but today I want to share some of the things that make it very hard ever to get anything done. Come visit us and you'll realize how true these "excuses" are. Let's entitle this list "I was going to, but...":
- “The truck I was going to use broke down and all other vehicles were already being used.”
- “I couldn't get a taxi to stop for me.”
- “I needed so-and-so, but he/she was sick.”
- “I was sick.”
- “I ran out of materials and the store was closed.”
- “I searched all over the city and no one has the thing I need.”
- “The power was out.”
- “The water was out.”
- “The Internet was out.”
- “It was raining.”
- “The road was blocked with peaceful protesters.”
- “The person I was supposed to meet never showed up.”
- “So-and-so never answered his/her phone.”
- “I ran out of minutes on my phone.”
- “I dropped my phone in the toilet.”
- “My computer’s battery died because it won't take a charge from the power cord.”
- “We didn't realize that that day was a national holiday.”
- “Somebody’s family member died.”
- “I couldn't understand so-and-so’s Spanish.”
- “So-and-so couldn't understand my Spanish.”
- “So-and-so was here from out of town and we had to take advantage of the opportunity.”
- “I had to wait in my house all week for a contractor to show up.”
- “I couldn't get in the mission because they changed the lock and I don't have the key yet.”
- “The small thing I was going to do first turned into something more difficult than I expected.
- “Something more important came up.”
Every single one of these things has actually happened to at least one person on our team. Most of them happen multiple times and to multiple people. Actually, it is quite common to experience at least one of these things every single day. I am not exaggerating. The sad thing is that this is just the short list; I could probably come up with ten more things right now without thinking too hard about it.
BUT, the thing is that we are getting things done. We have so many reasons why each day should be a total failure, but we are seeing a lot of success right now. Before it seems like I am bragging, I want to say unequivocally that I attribute this success to God. It has to be Him because, otherwise, it doesn't make any sense. Yes, I'm sure part of it has to do with the wonderful people with whom we work, but Who put these particular people together in the first place? Even when we human beings drop the ball, based on how I see things go, it is obvious to me that Someone has everything under control.
Let me sum up with these points:
- I am very thankful for how God is working in our lives and the lives of those around us here.
- You can take encouragement that any manner of excuses can be overcome. If God wants something to happen, it will happen, despite whatever obstacles we can identify.
- Even though living there is logistically very difficult, it is possible to be extremely happy somewhere because of the people you are with (more on that later... maybe).