Danny is a boy in Annie’s class. He has been missing for the past couple weeks from Curahuasi. He is a good kid, and he is one of the scholarship kids from the school. That means he is sponsored by Christians in Europe who pay for his schooling. He comes from a very difficult home, having been abandoned by both of his parents, and he has been living with his grandmother. Unfortunately his grandmother is physically abusive. A sad, but not uncommon story in Curahuasi. Danny has run away from his grandmother before, but he has never disappeared for this long. We are worried about him. You cannot disappear in our town. It is too small. Some suspect he has headed to Cuzco to look for his father. Others think he is hiding out in some of the small communities outside of Curahuasi between here and Cuzco. I think the worst rumor I have heard is that possibly his grandmother sold him to work in Lima. This is one of the sad things that does happen in the poor areas of Peru. Parents or grandparents will take a sum of money and then send their kids to go work in Lima for a specified amount of time. Modern day slavery. I hope that is not what it is, and I pray that we find him soon. We want the empty seat in Annie’s class to have Danny in it again.
Every day at Diospi Suyana Hospital begins with a chapel service. It is the most important thing we do. What is the point in treating the body while forgetting the soul. All our good works are filthy rags without the heart of God in the midst of it all. Please pay that each day, every patient will hear about the love of God and will experience it through the actions, words, and behaviors of the staff of the hospital.
They are growing so fast and based on what we see of relations between Mom and Dad, by the time we get these kits moved on, we may have a new litter.
In our English speakers Friday night Bible study, we are going through the book of Exodus. Moses was a man sent on mission, and we all feel a little bit of his burden. I emphasize “a little bit” because none of us are really like Moses. Also we hoped that some of our older kids, David and his peers who are around 13, might be interested in joining in the conversation. And so we come tonight to Chapter 4 which then leads us to verses 24-25. And there you read about God wanting to kill Moses, but Zipporah saves his life by circumcising their first born son. It is enigmatic and confusing, and you cannot help but wonder what is being expressed in this message. Really, what is the point and why is it in there. As I looked on the internet for interpretations and explanations I came upon this article Moses, Maximus, and a Bloody Valentine. A few sentences jumped out at me.
A daunting text like Exodus 4:24-26 is a green light for deeper reflection on the spiritual character of the difficult text at hand.
Scripture is accessible enough for children and at the same time complex enough to keep scholars engaged for a lifetime.
It challenged me once again to remember 2 Timothy 3:16 where it states “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” So don’t skip the hard stuff. The harder it is to understand, the more willing we should be to dive in with patience allowing the word of God to reveal itself as we chew on these passages for a lifetime of nourishment. I thank God for his word that is ever new, ever challenging, forever motivating, and always allowing us to hear each day his voice speaking to us.
There have been things that I have wanted to change about life in Curahuasi. Some things about work are hard and some things about the culture are difficult. Doing missions is not easy, and living cross culturally can be tough. But the fact is that I cannot change everything. Much is out of my control.
So I have challenged myself to check my attitude. I tell my kids that only they have control over their attitude. No one else can control it for them, and their attitude affects everyone around then. So I took my own words to heart and it has been helpful. Allison was reminding me about God telling Paul to quit kicking against the goads, and frankly there is a little bit of freedom in knowing that this is the way it is and there is no changing it. When I thought I could change things, I guess the fact that it wasn’t changing frustrated me more. Now that I know I cannot, I am free to do the best I can within the system I am in. My attitude is better. I don’t think anyone would have said I had a bad attitude before . . . it was an internal problem. But the internal battle has improved if not been won completely as I have quit kicking against the goads and tried to move forward accepting the direction I am going.
It is good to remember that in all things God is in control. He directs our lives through the circumstances in which we find ourselves. So we should embrace our struggles, looking to how God is guiding and working in our lives through them, and we should quit fighting against the directions he takes us. It is when we try and take control that frustration sets in, but a life of faith, trusting in God’s leading, sets us free.
Sarah went to one over her classmate’s house yesterday. I dropped her off at 3 PM and told her that she needed to be at our house at 5 PM. One of the nice parts about being here is that you just let your kids walk around town, and because it is small and safe they can come and go as they please. At about 5:10 she was not home yet, so I went out on my bike to look for her. As I got to the intersection below our house, she came around the corner carrying her big backpack. On one glance of her face I saw that she had been crying. “What happened Sarah? Are you OK?” “I just wanted to come home,” she replied. “Why are you crying?” It wasn’t really that obvious as she had definitely tried to compose herself, but a parent can see pain in their kids immediately. “I don’t know, I just wanted to come home.” “Did something bad happen? Did you get in a fight?” I asked. “She combed my hair a really long time.” It turned out that her friend had decided that she wanted to play with Sarah’s hair and had combed it and combed it for at least an hour. Sarah didn’t like it. I asked her if she felt like she had been invited just so that the girl could play with her hair. Sarah said “No” and that they had done other things initially, but then she started combing her hair incessantly. We decided that next time she went over, she would go for only one hour (or less), and that she would be able to tell her friend “No, I don’t want my hair combed!” Sarah is the focus of much attention for her blonde hair. She has posed for many pictures for strangers and is told frequently how beautiful she is because of her hair. It might sound funny or fun, but really it is not her favorite part of being in Peru. She understands it and can laugh about it, but like it . . . not really.
Leave my hair alone!