Manic Tuesday

I'm sitting at an Coffee shop with my friend Amber this evening.   We're sitting with our computers in front of us, sipping Chai Tea, chatting about our kids, and complaining about the slow internet.  

  Our days here go by quickly but we aren't living a hectic pace.  I'm finding that a break from our "normal" life is refreshing, a different pace, different scenery, and a comforting rhythm of a simplified life.   

 Nathanael is finding little projects to do and helping out some friends with odd jobs....the kids and I are just hanging out.   We're just enjoying being here.  We go for walks, hang laundry, wash dishes, visit with friends, make tacos, eat chili candies, and read books.  I love to sit in the sunshine and read...it's something I just don't do at home.  Even when we have heat and sunshine in Saskatchewan we also have horrid mosquito that drive us back indoors.  

Nathanael and I were  talking today about how many things have changed over the years.  One thing that has changed is that we're really not interested in working for the sake of looking busy, gloating about accomplishments, impressing others in ministry, or doing useless tasks.  I don't know how many people I've seen on "mission trips" literally moving stacks of rocks from one pile to another or digging holes only to fill them up again the next year.  Work for the sake of work.  "Go to Mexico, work hard, don't ask questions, and leave feeling like you accomplished something"....even if the building you built never gets used and wasn't needed in the first place. 

We're here to experience life, to enjoy relationships, to encourage friends, to work when there is work to do, and to relax when there isn't...and not feel like we have to prove ourselves to anybody.  It's very freeing.  Maybe next time we'll come with a specific project funded and planned then work our tails off to get it done...but not this time.  We didn't even know we were coming until the week before we left.   This trip is more like a vacation with some adventure, work, and character building purpose mixed in.  We have ideas and visions for possible future endeavors and projects here...but it's all in the Lord's timing.  We don't know from what year (or rather day) to the next what the future holds for us in Mexico.  Only a couple years ago we were convinced we'd be living here full time by now.  God had totally different plans for us.  Better plans.

Today my two youngest kids and I walked down to the orphanage down the street (the one we used to work for).  It has the closest play ground and we enjoy seeing some familiar faces.   We happened to be at the little play ground at the same time that the kids from the "Day home for kids with disabilities" were out on recess playing there too.  How they've all grown since I used to spend time with them!  So many new kids.  I loved watching them...and my heart squeezed a bit missing being a part of that particular ministry.  

While we played at the play ground, Roman was helping Nathanael do some cement work for another nearby mininstry and  Aili was "helping" my friend Amber.  As we were trudging our dusty selves back home to make lunch, my hero Hubster pulled up next to us in the van and said we were going for fish tacos at our favorite little fish taco stand.  They were GOOD!  A beautiful sunny day and fish tacos in Mexico....what could be better?

Then, because it's Tuesday market day, we headed to "Globos" the weekly outdoor market that sets up through several blocks of the town.  We browsed the stands, took in the familiar sights of this completely different world, and bought 4 bags full of fresh cheap produce. 

Tomorrow, the guys (mine and a few others)  are driving up to Ensenada early tomorrow morning for the beginning for the Baja 1000 races.   I suggested that we pick up Alvaro tonight and he could spend the night and spend the day with them in Ensenada.   It seemed like we had it all figured out, even though it was totally last minute. I imagined a day filled with fun and memories (and even bragging rights) for our boy.  I had a bed made for him, and clean new clothes pulled out for him to wear on this outing.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when it didn't work out quite like I'd planned ...when "tio" went to pick him up after dark he wasn't home.    

Just his 9 yr old sister and his mom's come-and-go dead beat boyfriend were home.   "Tio" was not very impressed to see him back around and to witness the alcohol fueled sheepishness played out before him.  By "not too impressed"  I mean fuming -ready to put together a posse- and have a little "man up or move out" chat. 
I'm disappointed on a lot of levels right now.  Frustrated but not surprised.  I'm trying not to think too much about it all, or assume too much. 

  I can make plans like taking an "at risk" adolescent boy (who doesn't have a Dad, who has born the weight of responsibility for his family for a long time, and who so desperately needs some positive role model time) to the coolest "guy time" thing around...the Baja 1000..  And instead I'm reminded that I can't "fix" any of this.  The bubble was burst. 

So much about loving people here is totally manic.  Exhilarating one day...and then crushingly defeating the next.

I can't make better decisions for them.   I can't make the kids understand that they need to stay in school. I can't convince parents to actually parent.   I can't erase a sub culture that sees little value in an education, or doesn't have the luxury of looking past the needs of each day.  I can't keep little girls safe from drunk men who sleep over.  I can't tell these little boys that the examples of men they are seeing aren't really men at all.   I can't make men provide for their children, or honor their women as more than just a booty call with no responsibility attached.  I can't give sacrificially without it eventually being exploited and taken advantage of.  I can't tell the women that they should expect better.  I can't ensure these kids I love won't be hungry, or scared, or hurt.   I can't mend broken families, bruised bodies,  wrecked hearts, and wounded souls...  
.....but Oh how I wish I could.
 I can't change these things for them, and it almost seems just plain hopeless.  I can't go load up 7 kids and escape to a nicer reality never to return to the despair    I can't scrub them down and pick the lice out of their hair, and tuck them into bed with warm clean pajamas and good night kisses with promises of better days in their dreams.  

As I am reminded again  how sin twisted,  and pain riddled this messy world is I am also reminded that this is not mine to fix.  I am not it's savior.  I am put right back in my place.  That doesn't mean that I don't enter in and powerfully contend with these strongholds. We've been told to love in the midst of it.   What that looks like exactly, I'm not really sure.    I seem to have more doubts and questions than answers at the moment.   What these tiny humble little seeds will grow into, what the ripple effects will be,  is completely out of our hands.... but entirely in the hands of our good and mighty God who entered into the filth of humanity to contend with our own self destruction. 

  I can rest in that...and continue on being faithful in the little...while he worries about the big.  After all he knows the end from the beginning...I don't even know what I'll make for supper. 

{walking down town to get some groceries}

{The big fancy new grocery store in town.  It even has a paved parking lot!}

{stopping at a park for some juice during our long walk home from the Calimax}

{almost home}

Once again, this has been a long rambling post.  Thanks for stopping in....and congratulations on making it to the end.  

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Thanks for sharing. I can only imagine how your heart feels in seeing things you wish you could change for those precious kids. Thankful that at least we can pray for them.