So…Once again it’s been a long time, but I will attempt to finish the two remaining ME posts tonight–so that the series will finally be completed. 🙂
We spent about half of our time in the Philippines conducting an evangelistic series for the people there…
Each evening, my team and I would walk to the local school and set up. I am honestly starting to forget some of the details and I may get some of them wrong, but I’ll do my best to share a few stories that I still remember clearly.
There were a couple nights that our Brooke’s Point CE leader was feeling ill and therefore was not able to come to the meeting. She had two main jobs: time-keeping and leading craft time. She also did all sorts of other random things to keep the meeting running smoothly, but those are the main categories that I can think of.
Cheyenne (our CE leader) had asked me to be the time-keeper in her absence. Basically that meant that I was to carry her phone and text Mr. Ted (the Public Evangelism time-keeper, etc. in Brooke’s Point), coordinate ending times with him, and make sure my teammates knew when it was their turn to do something up front. Simple right? Especially since Cheyenne’s phone was just an old Nokia? One like I used to play with…
But no. It was not simple. lol It’s amazing what a bit of stress can do to a person’s mind! For the first part, I couldn’t figure out why the phone was typing whole words instead of single letters, therefore I couldn’t reply to the simple text: “Who has the phone?”. Simple enough answer: “Samantha”, but I couldn’t–for anything–figure out how to type it!
In my frustration I zeroed my eyes in on the phone, focusing wholly on it. I typed and deleted. I desperately tried to figure out what was going on. But to no avail. I noticed the children around me started calling to me and I didn’t even glance. I simply concentrated harder and continued trying to figure that phone out on my own.
Finally giving up, I turned to the children and asked what they wanted. Their response? Simply to point in the direction to my left, where stood–patiently waiting against the wall….Mr. Ted.
I couldn’t believe myself.
I had just spent what seemed like an eternity, trying to figure something out when the answer was beside me. I pointlessly focused on my problem when I could have paid attention to the solution.
Now, in my defense, I had no way of knowing that Mr. Ted would come over to check on us. Therefore I had no way of knowing that help was right beside me (although I certainly could’ve responded to the children much sooner…).
But, once again, it taught me a lesson.
Sometimes, when life overwhelms me, I stare at my problem desperately trying to solve it. I stare so long and hard, I concentrate so fully that I can not realize that Jesus is patiently waiting to give me the simple answer. But when I do look up, He always patiently calls to me and shows me His way. He explains the problem and reminds me that He is the Solution. He never looks down on me for my ridiculous striving; but kindly, gently reminds me that there is a better Way.
There were often nights when the rain was pouring down hard as we met. There were nights where slightly creepy men followed us (specifically the girls) around. There were nights when the power went out–and thankfully came back on shortly thereafter. I spent many nights freaking out because there was one girl who specifically enjoyed taunting me with dreadful cockroaches! I was near tears by the time we returned to the lodge one night (which, if you know me, is very unusual)…It was just so freaky! I hated the spiders and the cockroaches, but the local people didn’t seem to mind them–and some even held them!!!!! ICK!!!
In the end, any sacrifice (or frightful creature) was worth it. We had a baptism on the last Sabbath that we were in the area. The joy on the faces of those gathered was unspeakable.
Oh that we all had that same joy, every day of our lives!