Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chiclets (Joe Widick)

Here is another wonderful entry by Joe Widick. He speaks of an incident on a mission trip in Latin America, a scene I became very familiar with on my trips to Honduras. Thanks for all your prayers while I am in Vietnam! I leave to return to the US in only a week!

We had been at the church building for well over two hours.  The worship was enthusiastic, the people were friendly.  Over twenty songs were sung, scripture was read, thoughts concerning the Lord Supper were made and our missionary spoke for an hour.  People around me seemed to listen and from time to time there was an “amen” to be heard.  The lesson was about how the community of Santo Domingo feels about the church.   One of the men with me was taking notes in English and he was showing me the main points of the lesson.  When worship was over, Milady Rebekah, the 7 year old daughter of our missionary shyly came up to me and handed me a small two piece box of Chiclets.  It was her gift to me.  Simple and sweet.  All I could say was “gracias.” I was blessed to spend the rest of the day with her and her family and friends.  I walked to their home and had a noon meal with the family.  It was chicken baked in a brick oven outside the home.  The oven was brand new because the old one had fallen apart when a earthquake struck in Guatemala.  She showed and modeled for me dresses that her mother had sewn.  She was so happy and proud.  Needless to say Milady Rebekah, Elesa (her 5 year old sister) and Danlito (her older brother) stole my heart. 

Life is simple in Santo Domingo.  People either ride horses around the city or they walk.  People say “hola” when they pass by you.  We would be out at 9:00 pm walking dark streets making our way back to our room, and never felt threatened or in danger.  People had coffee beans out drying in the sun.  I would see them raking them one way in the morning and then in the afternoon they would rake them  a different direction.  I don’t think I heard the honk of a horn while I was there.  I had breakfast on a veranda and was able to see the huge extinct volcano that overlooks the city.  Each morning I watched brilliantly colored green birds fly in and out of the trees.  I even drank my coffee black because there was no cream.

All of this came to an end Monday morning at 3:30 as I loaded up in a pick-up truck to go to the nearest airport.  An hour and half later we arrived and began the process going through all the security and red tape to board a flight.  The Nashville airport was somewhere way far away.  Slowly but surely the journey was made.  It was more customs to go through as well as screenings at security.  Finally the plane began its decent into Nashville.  The warm 80 degree weather of Santo Domingo was replaced with cold rainy weather.  As I got off the plane, I began the walk through the airport to meet my son.  As I was walking through the airport reality set in very quickly.  Everyone was either looking at a computer screen, playing with an I pad, or talking on their cell phone.  I did not make eye contact with anyone, it was as though I was not there.  I saw no smiles on faces.

I question in my mind many times “what is wrong with our world?”  I am not a great philosopher!  But I do have some thoughts that might make a difference.  I look at the life of Christ and I see a simple life.  A life with few possessions but yet a life that I believed was lived to the fullest.  Maybe the answer is not “more is better.”  Maybe we need to slow down a little and enjoy the many blessings that God has given us.  I know that that is easier said than done.  Maybe begin by watching thirty minutes less of TV at night and make that a quality time with your family.  Instead of constantly looking at Facebook or checking for messages on your phone, you could devote some time to reading from God’s word.  Would things be any better if you thought of a way to be a blessing to others?  A little girl gave me a simple gift of Chiclets and I felt blessed.  Could you set down with your children or grandchildren and make a card to send to someone who needed to be cheered up.  Jesus went about doing good things for people.  I know we can’t do all the miracles and good deeds that Jesus did, but I am convinced that with a little planning and prayer we could make a difference.  The neat thing is that it can be as simple as a little package of Chiclets given with love.  Let’s slow down and work on ways to make a real difference.  

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Glan Deas said...

I like one thing most of this city that People either ride horses around the city or they walk. People say “hola” when they pass by you.

Kopi Luwak