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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You know you're a missionary when . . . .

  • Your day involves making massive recipes of granola to store for the week’s breakfasts, to combine with daily home-made yogurt from milk from the cow that lives in the back yard.
  • Your day also involves brushing up on how to use logarithms to multiply peculiar numbers with no calculator, only archaic tables (do they do this in American high schools?)
  • Two dead baby rats drop out of the shade vine over the side porch, and you’re so glad they are dead it makes the presence of their stubbornly alive and difficult to eradicate mother less noxious.
  • Not one but two sets of twins of HIV positive mothers show up in the space of an hour with pleas for help because they feel they cannot sustain their babies with breast milk . . . And you cry out because there is no good choice between the risks of infection and the risks of malnutrition.
  • Your worker laughs when he shows you a fist-sized tarantula he killed in the yard.
  • You have to detour while biking the kids to school to avoid a small wooden building being dragged down the middle of the road with ropes and logs, by pure manual labor.
  • Very articulate delegates from the European Union make a stop on their tour to discuss the last decade of experience we’ve had with issues of war, displacement, and resettlement (as if we were some experts, when our main contribution has been to just stick with the situation).
  • You rejoice to see the sun emerge from the grey sky, so that clothes can get dry and electricity can be produced by solar panels after days of cloud and rain.

And lastly,
  • You see a weathered  old woman, with gappy yellow teeth and crinkled skin, thin limbs wrapped in a traditional cloth, carrying her two-year-old orphaned nephew whom she’s been breast feeding since his mother died, and it strikes you that this woman is truly beautiful in the eyes of God.  She’ll be a finalist in the Miss Universe contest in Heaven, when all our illusions of good are turned upside down and inside out and we see what is really real.

(All of this really happened in the last day or so).

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