In a very literal sense, the roads we travel on this trip are not straight. We drive up winding mountain roads which are partially blocked by boulders from landslides, and sometimes we get so close to the edge of a cliff that our gasps make our driver, Vincente, a bit anxious. And in a metaphorical sense, our days are like this, as well. The challenges are great, the path forward can seem uncertain and the obstacles are large. Yet, our God is faithful and somehow, at the end of the day, He has made our paths straight. Oh, how I am thankful for the opportunity to see Him at work in our mission!
Yesterday, we were in a breathtaking mountain region where the calla lilies grow wild. In rocky, untilled soil, these gorgeous flowers bloom untended. They remind me of the daisies which can grow in the gravel roads in northern Wisconsin, the very same ones which seem to die if I plant them in my garden. The people we serve in this region remind me of those lilies. There is an elegance and quiet dignity about them. They live under the harshest of circumstances, yet reflect an amazing strength and beauty.
We all have many stories to tell, so I will share just one. Today, a mother came into our clinic with her three year old son who was, quite obviously, seriously cognitively impaired. She came with the hope that there was something that the doctors from America could do to help her him, and, of course, there was not. I literally left the clinic in tears with the overwhelming emotion that I have been that mother. I have been that mother of a three year old son, hoping and praying that a doctor could do something to “fix” his struggles. I have brought my fears with me to the doctor and heard news that I didn’t want to hear. In ways that none of the other patients had done, this mother and son drove the point home to me that these people, poor and broken and disadvantaged as they may be, are just like us. They love their families, struggle through their pain and seek help and guidance. And I pray that our presence here shows that, in addition to looking inward in their own strength and toward others, they can turn to the One who has moved all of us to serve.
I know every one of us covets your prayers for us to finish our mission well. May we walk hand in hand with Jesus as we share His love through our words and deeds.