Saturday, October 17, 2009

missionaries or friends

One thing that is real difficult here is managing the roles of "missionaries" verses "friends" as it relates to the local people.

What we desire is to develop genuine friendships with the people. But it is hard to do that when we are only thought of as the missionaries here to help them. Obviously, we want them to know that we are here to help them as well, but it is the balancing of both that becomes a challenge.

Our hearts desire is to be considered by the locals as neighbors and friends. That is actually the way that God has led us to be the most effective "missionaries" we can be. For us, it's through the relationships that we feel we can best point people to Jesus, and also allow us to see the deeper needs that go beyond the physical.

As we continue to oversee ministries designed to meet the physical needs, we pray for God's help in developing friendships that are real and that he would guard the locals from the temptation to take advantage of us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

our supporters

been sick for a week. something about the flu in guatemala... its not the normal deal. anyway, feeling much better today and excited about some things going on this week.

tonight kerrie and i are thinking about all of our supporters and praying for them all. we are so fortunate to have a special bunch that believe in what we are doing and give so generously. we could not be here without you...

Friday, October 2, 2009

judi & her little sis

today during dS basketball, one of the girls on my team named judi brought her little sister to practice. everywhere she went she was toting her little sister - about 1.5 yrs - along with her. (pictured to the right is judi, her sister, and her teammate evelyn.)

at one point it finally hit me that judi is only 10 years old! (i am realizing that i have been here a while because these things don't even strike me as odd anymore.) anyway, i asked judi about it and she said "no one was home when it was time for practice so i couldn't leave her alone." turns out that because her parents both need to work, judi stays home several days a week caring for her little sis.

later after practice i had this funny thought of all the ymca teams i have coached back in the US. i was trying to imagine what i would have done if one of my 10 year olds came to practice with their 1 yr old sibling and told me the same story!? called the police? immediately taken them to a relative or neighbor? who knows.

it's just so amazing to experience such a different culture and different way of life. even crazier, the fact that i am getting so used to it and beginning to accept such things as completely normal! God is awesome...