Tuesday, September 24, 2013


God is often reminding me of perspective. I know. I’m a slow learner. He has to keep showing me.

Recently, my family took a weekend vacation to see the Mayan pyramids in Palenque and Tonina. We complained on our trip of the inconveniences of the teachers who are striking in Mexico. They have closed roads and highways which has caused gas trucks not to be able to deliver fuel. And of course, the general annoyances of not being able to travel where we want and when we want…ugh! They have even taken over the toll booths on the toll road and we had to pay them instead of the federal government. (It was a lesser amount, which makes many people happy to support the teachers.)

On our way home, we were stopped in a small community by a group claiming to support the teachers. In all reality, they were Zapatistas who were taking advantage of the situation. They were charging 100 pesos to get through and if you didn’t pay they were threatening to spray paint your car. And to keep you from trying to drive past them they employed spike strips.

I will be honest. I was very angry that they were taking advantage of us and everyone else who was trying to travel on that road. I’m not happy about how the teachers are protesting either. (I understand that it’s the only way to have a voice in this country that’s full of corruption. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or agree.) I have been inconvenienced. And I have had to pay. But in all reality, even the 100 pesos is less than $10.

The anger. The injustice. The frustration. I’m American! They can’t do this to me.

And then I read the news reports about the mall shootings in Nairobi.

It’s wrong! It’s evil! They can’t do that to innocent people!

When I read of some of our colleagues who were in the mall, trapped for hours, fearing for their lives…it made me reconsider the “dangers” and “frustrations” that I have been experiencing.

An American family (our colleagues), were separated. Mom and 4 kids were able to escape after 4 hours of hiding in a storage closet. But Dad and teenage son were still trapped. They were eventually reunited and everyone is safe.

It makes my frustrations pale in comparison. And then I’m reminded of the injustices. All around our world. Evil reigns. The solution…only Christ. And that makes our call to go unto all the nations that much more urgent.
What is God calling you to do today?
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”'
Isaiah 6:8


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life’s Interruptions

     Clay and I have always considered ourselves to be fairly spontaneous. When someone invites us to dinner at the last moment, I’m okay with it. The dinner I prepared can wait until the next day. Or when only three kids would show up for Bible study instead of ten, we’d go for donuts. We make the best of it.

Here in Mexico, we’ve had a different take on spontaneity. When the electricity goes out and dinner is in the crockpot…well, the oven is gas! We can still cook. When we plan to have a barbecue and it rains, we move the grill under the front porch. Or when the water pressure is low, we take bucket baths instead of showers. When we plan to study, and someone drops in, we put the study materials aside…or better yet, discuss it with our visitors. For example, if we’re studying the language, we practice pronunciation with our visitors. Or if we’re studying a Bible story, we share it.

But lately we’ve been pushed to be even more spontaneous. Last week, we took the two littlest boys to their daycare and we were told they couldn’t receive the students that day, but there would be a meeting for the parents at noon. At the meeting we were informed that school would be closed until further notice because they are changing locations and have to get the new building ready and then inspected. It’ll probably 2 weeks. Or more.

Thursday when we picked up the big kids from school, we were told they wouldn’t have class the next day because the teachers were having a union meeting. (As a teacher, why would you cancel class for this?!? Your job is to teach! Have your meeting in the afternoon!) But, we rolled with it. Today (Monday), Clay took the kids to school, only to bring them home again. School is closed until further notice because the teachers are on strike.

Bring on the spontaneity! Now…back to work, amidst the noise of four rambunctious kids!