Monday, December 1, 2014

Missing Missionary Manners Matters

Well tis the season.  

I was catching up with the wash at the laundry room behind the kitchen.  Some of you know that I have put almost all the little girls in my house.  It is working out very well, most days.  We have some issues to address, but anyone who lives with more than one other person will always have some type of issues to deal with.  I have 12 girls in my house right now. Because of a recent arrival of a 16 year old mom and her baby and her 3 siblings, 15, 9 and 3.  Washing clothes is a never ending story.  Someone is always in the washroom trying to fold, wash, or find something.  

While I was there, one of the girls came and said someone was at the gate.  So when someone reportedly is at the gate, which happens a lot, a game of 20 questions begin.  

Do you know who it is?  Yes, Her name is ----- and she has a little boy with her. 
Have you seen her before?  No
Is she on foot? Yes
How old is the little boy?  He looks about 5
What does she want?  She wants to talk to you
Where is she from? ==== ====
Did you tell her that she needed to tell you, so you could tell me?  Yes, but she said she could only talk to you. 
Did you let her in the gate?  Yes 

My girls are going to make great reporters.  Anyway, before I even finish my questions, the skies just dumped freezing cold rain out over our farm.  I told the girls, just wait and I will go up there.  I figured she was dry and it could wait.  My attitude was not optimum for a missionary.  I was busy, and I was trying to finish up the laundry and I was so close.  But again, there is always something to do in the laundry, and when you finish, there is something waiting to be washed.  I thought while I was trapped, I would take advantage of the rains.  

When the rain let up about 45 minutes later, I walked up to the church and she was patiently waiting.  I remembered her when she used to go to the church here years ago.  She's the same little girl, in her face, only in a very tall body.  She was unusually tall for a Honduran woman.  I began by saying "Hello, nice to see you again", and then I started telling her when she comes she needs to let the girls know what she needs and that will help us to attend to her quickly and she wouldn't have to wait.  I thought she had come to get food or clothing, which we have ready to dispense to people who come and are needy.  

She said, "I am sorry, I didn't know". 

  I said, "No problem.  So what do you need?".  

She assumed I had knowledge of her situation, and started by saying, "Well, when they killed my husband 3 weeks ago,,,".  Then it hit my missionary brain, this is what my worker was telling me about.  He had to go to the funeral, because her husband was a distant family member.  Apparently there were 3 friends, and they were drinking and two got mad at the one, and they hit him with a machete, more than once.  They were caught and the two guys were in jail.  She was left with a farm and 3 children under the age of 6. It was a gruesome story to say the least. 

 I immediately felt like a failure a missionary.  I had been aggravated at being bothered, when in fact I was on a project.  I made this woman, who was already suffering, wait for me to make my arrival and ask her what she wanted, but not before I semi-scolded her for not following protocol. I grieved for her loss and for my arrogant attitude. So, I immediately asked her how I could help.  She just humbly ask me to pray for her.  

She said that the families of these men, were threatening the life of her and her children if she didn't drop the charges.  I asked her is that was even possible for her to drop the charges.  She told me that she wasn't a witness to it, and she didn't turn them in, so she didn't know how she could do anything.  She was right, the police did the investigation and outside of forgiving them, there was nothing she could do.  She wasn't angry, and she looked totally helpless about what to do.  So I decided I would give some suggestions. 

I told her that school year was almost over.  It stops in November.  November through January is harvest time in the mountains, and so the children are not in school that time of year, so they can help their parents with the harvest.  So I was concerned because she lived further back in the woods than I do, even further than my worker, which is way off in the boonies.  I told her she could bring her and her children to the Intern house and we would set them up there to live.  

She said, " I have animals to care for".

 I asked her, "How many animals?" 

She said, "I have a cow that was due to have her calf any day, and chickens, ducks and turkeys. 

"Okay," I say, "We will get our farm worker to move your animals here and you can take care of them in the back pasture, because my cows are off visiting their boyfriend. "  

She said, "Well we are harvesting our corn and beans and I have a crew of men I have to cook for until they finish".  

I say, "You can't eat the corn if you are dead".  

She said, "That is what my husband planted before he was killed, and the other men are depending on me to pay them.  I would like to finish what he started".

She just kept shooting holes in my logic, which was you can't do any of the above if you and you children are not living to do all these things.  

So , I finally asked her, "What do you want me to do".  

She said, " I felt like God told me to come and have you pray over me and my family to be safe.  I think He can keep us safe".  I just wanted you to agree with me in prayer about it. " 

Again, "Flawed Missionary" is humbled by this poor little twenty something year old widow.  I wanted to cry.  I don't know how it happens.  You are doing the work and yet you get so off course.  God sent her to me, not because she needed anything, her faith was phenomenal,  but I needed to be reminded to get back to center.  I needed to remember to focus and sit before the throne and long for His presence and direction for my life the life of the ones that He has placed around me. Was I doing anything wrong? No, I was taking care of business, but I was not preferring, His company and companionship.  I was doing my "devotions", but it was just like marking that little chore off my list. 

As I am writing this, I remembered a marriage retreat that I attended years ago, that feature Dr.Mark and Alician Rutland.  He was talking about husbands.  He said that many wives cooked three meals a day, (back in the day) and kept the wash up,  kept the kitchen floors cleaned.  "But", he said, "Really, speaking on behalf of the husbands, most husbands, don't even know what color the floor in the kitchen is and they really don't care what color the floor is."  All the men burst out laughing and shrugging their shoulders, like "I really don't know".  "Even when you have done a great job being a housewife, perfect mom, and splendid cook, at the end of the day, he just wants a wife. Someone he can be with and someone who wants to be with him."  God wants the same thing. 

So my heart's cry right now, is not to be Superwoman,( Missionary version), but to get back to where I know my heart really longs to be.  If I am in His presence, I will get everything done that I need to get done. He is in charge of the time.  Time is in His hands.  I want the girls to know how to cook and clean and be responsible students and young people, but more than that I want to show them by example, how to love God, and forsake all other endeavors, even the good things to know HIm. Those things don't surpass His goodness, kindness and love.  Out of the overflow of being with Him, we will get all the other stuff done, but with a joyful attitude.  

Please pray for the girls and me.  We have 38 girls now and we need your prayers.  Some of the girls have just graduated from 6th grade and from kindergarten.  Next year we will have more girls from the community join our little school so they can continue their education.  WE are expecting interns to come to be with us and we have the Boy's Ranch ready to go.  So many things, but we are waiting on the Lord.  Please pray that we hear from God and use His timing and not ours.  

Thanks again for all the prayers and support you send our way.  Blessings, the Flawed but Seeking HIM, Honduran Missionary MOM.  

New girls are Maritza, 16 and baby Blanca 6 months, Ada 15, Enma 9, Rosita, 3