Pray, Go, Give Blog

Missions - Living in Contrasting Worlds


It is early in the morning and I am posting while on a week long trip with some friends building a home for a needy family in a remote village of Nayarit, Mexico. See this blog post for more photos and information about the build:   The village is made up of farmers that grow corn, chilis, tobacco and beans. Some of the fields are still plowed using horses or mules. People live simple lives and pray for things like the correct amount of rain so crops will grow but not to much worrying about if it coming in through their roof or walls as they try to get some sleep at night. This year times are tough as more than normal rainfall is taking place and crops are being lost which will mean less income than normal. Yesterday a few of us ate lunch in a families home that consisted of sticks for walls and palm leaves for a roof. We were treated like honored guests as they enthusiastically served chicken soup (I mean everything), beans, salad and juice. It is a meal they can rarely afford to eat. We paid for the food and hoped that they did not feed us all that they had prepared and saved some for themselves. In their simple hut with the wind blowing and rain running through it they had a t.v. which seems to be the only luxury they can afford. I asked if they had been watching the Olympics. They looked confused and said they did not know what the Olympics were.  That seemed wierd. After eating we asked them what we could pray about and they asked that the rain would stop so the beans did not rot and that they could find work, stay dry at night and warm up. I also prayed silently about God supplying a team to build them a home.

Later that day I ran into a woman whos daughter has moved to the U.S. looking for a better life and she asked if I could go on my computer and show her pictures of her grandchild she has never seen. It turns out her daughter is a friend on Facebook. Later today I look forward to showing her photos of her granddaughter.

So here I am up since 2am unable to sleep thinking about life in the worlds I live in. I have been spending some time checking on news in the U.S. and other parts of the world via websites, blogs and twitter. Wow; that is scary. Being in a place where some people don't even know what the Olympics are and I am getting majorly stressed out. I am wondering when I will be able to sleep again. What a blessing and curse technology can be.  I am blessed to be able to video conference with my wife on Skype while I am away and stay a nervous wreck over world news at the same time. I have to admit I am hooked on technology and yet there is definately an appeal to the simplicty of this village. Relationships, hard work, survival, and not knowing some things can be good. We live in interesting times.

There is a lot to process as I live the missionary life. I am glad that I live at this time in history. My goal is to balance technology with contemplation, family, friends and service to others. God is good. Let's do this together!

2 comments so far:

I can empathize with you, Tom. Last week I had the privilege of spending a few hours with a modern Mayan family in Chacchoben, Mexico. As much as I enjoy my conveniences and comforts, I certainly see the appeal of this simple, isolated lifestyle. Sometimes I think all of our "stuff" interferes with our ability to communicate with God.

Jocelyn; It sure is nice to "unplug" and get away for a Dwellings house build and simpler life from time to time. I take advantage of the time away in Mexico or Honduras and turn the trips into a spiritual quest.


Keep in touch: