21 May 2010
Interlude in Bangladesh
It is a known phenomenon that we always have the choice of whether to look at the good or the bad in any given situation. Negativity breeds more of the same--and our God does give joy in the work, if we are not too blind and stupid to experience it. I think I love Bangladesh almost as much as Nepal. I do not have as MUCH to love there and we have not been working with them for nearly as long. One little children's home and a small sponsorship program for children of pastors is the total of Allow's presence in Bangladesh. I had three days planned for Bangladesh, not counting travel days on each end. I lost one day when my flight was finally canceled after two(long)delays. Shanti,wife of my main partner in Nepal, traveled with me. I introduced her as my "boss's wife" to which she kept responding "No,no" but really is not off the truth. We made a good team. I was good for moving us to the front of lines.(When the foreigner was beckoned forward as often happens, I took her with me.) She was good for communication. To my amazement,she could speak Bengali. She said she could not, but she did talk to them (children in the program, taxi drivers, store keepers, passersby) and they responded, often moving us along in whatever our purpose. As I write this note, all of the negative things flood my mind. I could describe the suffocating heat, the horrible hotel provided by the airline after the last cancellation, the annoyance of going through the extensive security procedures twice for one flight-- and these things pale as I remember the nightmare of the return travel-- probably my worst airport experience ever. OR I could choose to share about the two new little girls now under our care in Light and Life Home. They are two precious little lives, now connected with mine, now changed from a life of terrible need to something approaching what childhood should be. I could remember the beautiful Bay of Bengal and my night time solo swim-- something I love to do. We visited the mission hospital and we walked into the steaming jungle to visit a man who needed the Lord-- almost ready to trust, but held back by his devout Muslim wife. I could focus my memory on the new children's home building project in the tribal mountain area. As soon as it opens, it will make an incredible difference in the life of every carefully chosen child to enter it-- and as the ministry progresses, those children will provide openings to new villages and families to be reached. Praise God for what He is doing,and allows us to join it with Him. Yes! I can sleep in dirt and mold, mosquitoes, noise and broken plumbing. Yes! I can spend the days(and nights) soaking wet and sticky from the terrific heat. YES! I can work through all kinds of transportation hassles to see two little girls who are safe, fed, enrolled in school and learning about the Lord Jesus. We did not have a big project for this trip or important objectives that make a good report. It was just a "sponsorship maintenance/management" visit. I hope we encouraged the Bengali partner. I hope this note encourages our Allow family. The work moves on-- in Bangladesh.