Thursday, August 15, 2013

Unexpected Gift: Day 1,030

Every once in a while there is something that just completely humbles me...

This week I've been helping out at Paso a Paso, a program here in San Antonio Aguas Calientes.  I was asked to go to Antigua to pick up a family and bring them out to the project...except there had been a mix-up.  The family only had a donation for the project as they hadn't heard back from their contact until that morning and had made other plans for their afternoon.  I invited them to come out a different day, and we chatted for a bit.  People always seem interested in me and what an "American" is doing down here; so I shared with them a bit of my ministry and the whole transition I'm in right now.  As they sent me on my way, one of them put $100 in my hand and told me it was a donation for the work I do.  The suitcase of stuff was for Paso a Paso; the cash in my hand--with no strings attached, no tax slip, and only a name (Carol) to attribute the money to--was for Los Encuentros.  That's a stove or two water filters!

When I was younger, I used to help my mother with her donations for the year.  We would pick out goats and pigs and Bibles for far away places.  I always loved deciding what to order for these people.  However, now that I see their faces and know their stories, it's harder to make those sorts of choices.  I see two families with a great need.  I have the money to buy a stove ($100) for one family--or the other--which would mean that neither families would get water filters, OR I could get water filters ($50) for both, but who knows when they would get a stove because, let's face it, it's easier to get $50 than $100.  And, to be brutally open with you all, I hate sitting on that $50 I have to help the people (a water filter for a third family!) until I get another $50 for that other stove.  I could be improving the quality of someone's water now, and instead I'm waiting to improve the air quality in their home.  Sometimes it makes me feel like a bad person.  It is times like this that I need to remind myself that all good things come from God.  When we need it, the money will be there to make positive changes in the lives of these families.  For that, I give thanks just as I give thanks to Carol for her donations, not only to my work in Los Encuentros, but also to Paso a Paso.

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