Friday, August 12, 2011

Mission Roulette with a side of Humor


Welcome to the world of missions, where anything goes, yet you are the honored guest, and expected to know cultural things because, well, that's what they do so why shouldn't you?  It's besides the fact that you are used to a clean bathroom with at least toilet paper.  The proverbial outhouse in 3rd world countries are a far cry from anything resembling one in the USA.  Unless you go camping and make your own.  Than it comes pretty close.

So, moving on.  Next, you will experience the change of plans in route to your destination.  You will be passing off your notes and study you took time to prepare for someone else's study because the natives have requested you teach a certain group and not the one you thought you were going to.  And you will be able to pull this off with a smile on your face and hopefully a translator.  And if no translator is available, you will do your best not to use words that mean something completely opposite of what you thought you were saying.  Looks of horror or bursts of laughter are usually a good indication the previous has happened.

Next on the list of our mission roulette choices is the meal.  At least what the natives consider the meal.  Do not be alarmed if you find eyeballs floating in your soup.  This is especially reserved for the guest of honor.  Than you have a few choices.  A Nehemiah prayer and swallow, or eat around the interesting objects in your plate/bowl, or creatively feed the native animals w/o drawing suspicion.  I honestly prefer the last, but that's the fun thing about missions.  You get to decide how to interact w/o offending them.  If you are with experienced missionaries, they can provide other solutions as well.

Sleeping accomodations can get interesting.  Anything from sleeping outdoors on and in who knows what to some pretty decent places.  For your sanity, I suggest trying to find a decent place.  Personally, the whole lack of sleep with a side of bugs does not appeal, no matter how gung-ho you think you are.  I draw the line at getting a good night's sleep.  Oh, and earplugs and eye mask also come in handy. 

So there you have it.  Your basic package for the typical mission's trip.  So you can easily see how a side of humor greatly helps the whole experience. 

On the other side, you may see more earnest hearts than you ever thought possible.  Something about not having a bunch of material possesions and plenty of time seems to lend itself toward that. 

Today we once again experienced our 2 hour bumpy bus ride and soup-surprise lunch, oh with a detour to see a church project and another surprise meal (which the men prepared because the women were not available - very impressive indeed in a Latin culture.)

But I enjoyed working with the beautiful children that showed up today.  Their little faces eager to participate in whatever activity we had planned.  So as we sat in the field with animal residue mines all around (I thought that was a pretty good way of saying it!), I was happy to hear them recite their memory verse, Proverbs 3:5:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge Him..."

Please pray for the children in Los Angeles, Peru today.  That something we teach them will stick in their minds and hearts and they will trust in the Lord.

Well, I was going to attempt to put photos up once again, but it seems Bill obsconded (sp?) with the camera as he went to a Cafe place with Sam, Robert and Chris and I stayed in the hotel room.  Well, to all a good night and more news to come if I get internet and a computer manyana.  Tchau!

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