Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Word

I am home from an 8 day trip to The Dominican Republic. I don't really have a lot of words right now. Processing takes some time. I came home with many new precious relationships with people I served alongside. I witnessed yet another part of the world that is so drastically different from The United States. Adding this experience on top of my experience in Zimbabwe, revealed to me in more clarity that it is TRUE that 93% of the world does NOT live like us. We don't just take basic provisions for granted, like water, roads, order, education, food stamps, American Red Cross, church and Emergency ambulance service.....but we down right abuse them. We don't just fail to recognize that these things are precious, but we EXPECT them to be available and to work properly. Red lights save lives. Yellow lines in the paved and smooth roads establish fair boundaries. Water fountains in public malls and other buildings are a free gift. Soap is a commodity. Strong water pressure is a blessing. Air conditioning is a luxury. These are things that I am learning to be more and more grateful for. We, as Americans, are very fortunate.

Yes, there were children in heartbreaking situations in the DR. I saw them, smelled them, held them, and will have some permanent memories of a few. Their poverty is painful to witness, as much as is the knowledge that many of them will not go to school, ever. They will be sexually active the moment the hormones kick in and their exposure to drugs will be the norm. It is sad to say the least. But what affected me most, I think....were the missionaries. The Americans who have put their entire American existence behind them to take up permanent residence to positively affect a foreign, impoverished community who has little to nothing. It is remarkable...and I haven't the words to remark. I will. God used this trip for me to show me how it is possible to walk away from the American Dream and live in Heaven's dream instead. I'm not saying we're packing our bags. But I'm not saying that we're not. I'm saying my heart is open to going where He will send us. Maybe He'll only send us to Pegram. Maybe Kentucky. Maybe Africa. Maybe Arkansas. Maybe nowhere new. But He is most certainly sending me to new depths in His love for this earth. He loves the Dominican Republic and Haiti and Zimbabwe and Darfur and Uganda and China and India and France. He just wants us all to love Him back.


Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. I think the day is coming for our country when these things we take for granted (especially water) will not be so plentiful.

Thank you for this reminder. I look forward to hearing about your trip. (And seeing lots of pictures, I hope.)

You were in my prayers, and I'm glad you made it home safely.

The Clicks said...

Beautiful post. I think this is a lesson many people need to learn...especially now with the given economic situation. We have SO much and there are others with so little. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad to hear the trip touched you so.

"Lolli" said...

Beautifully said, sweet friend. You said it so well, and I appreciate your words of insight and wisdom. I can't wait to share with you about the trip.

Love ya