12 July 2010

March of the Ants

In Nicaragua, we visited the island where we have started a sponsorship program for children of pastors. While waiting for the ferry, one member of our group leaned over a brick wall at the water's edge and spotted a colony of ants on a mission trip. Soon, all four of us were bending over to watch the ants. There must have been hundreds of them rushing horizontally along the wall, each carrying a bright green piece of leaf. A roughly equal number moved quickly in the opposite direction, presumably on a search for a leaf load. They walked in an organized line at a steady pace for quite a distance along the wall before they disappeared from sight. The bright green pieces of leaf fluttered so slightly as they moved and-- well, the whole picture of their project was impressive. Since I have not studied ants very thoroughly, I am not sure whether they intended to eat the leaves or build a nest with it, but whatever their intention they were purposefully and passionately pursuing the goal and they were working together. I felt a strange desire to help them-- perhaps (for example) by moving the plant they wanted closer. I wonder how one goes about communicating and motivating hundreds of ants with this plan for the day? And how does one do the same thing with human beings?

03 July 2010

What is your favorite part of the trip?

Americans come on a mission trip to Guatemala in order to have a good time. Maybe the good time is being in another country or traveling with friends or just doing something different. Maybe they want to be part of a building project or feeding poor village kids or developing a relationship with a child in the orphanage. But underlying it all is (or should be)love for the Lord, a desire to serve Him, a longing to DO something to promote His kingdom and a deep sense of following Him with a special project. My favorite part might have been hearing "How Great thou art" in the Spanish church or watching a hungry child lifting his plastic container to receive a scoop of good food from a member of our team at the feeding center. I also loved the motorbike. Up and down the mountain I went, to fetch forgotten items, bring water, check on the sick, move people from one work site to another. For liability reasons, I am the only one allowed to ride it, but this trip, I begged permission for my Nepali partner as well. It would be a little bit nuts for me to do all the driving when his experience was so far beyond mine. His help was a blessing with such a big group. We completed a greenhouse which will provide vegetables for the orphanage, the elder home and the feeding centers. It is a joy to know that the project will continue giving long after we are gone. May the Lord multitply it and use it. Tomorrow, we will be attending church in the village where we did a project last March. we will be presenting a guitar and a box of Bibles to the church and sharing the worship with them.