I went to the market yesterday afternoon, a place so small that you’ll easily pass it by unless you’re looking for it. Inside this small alley way, women from all over Waspam gather to sell their wares, fruits, vegetables, clothing and meat. Nutie is close friends with a few of these women, and she has encouraged me to spend more time with them, building relationships and learning Spanish and Miskito in a hands-on environment. Yesterday began the “lessons”, only it didn’t go as I thought…
Selia, the daughter of one of our friends, asked us to sing, and so we sang the few songs we had memorized in Miskito and Spanish, and soon we had a group around us, listening and dancing along with the words. After the songs were over, we all sat down and began to chat; they all wanted to know about me. Who are you? How old are you? Why are you here? And, especially, where do you come from? As I started to describe Alaska to these tropical women, I could see the astonishment and confusion on their faces. “You mean, you have heaters in your homes that work all the time?” “You don’t eat beans and rice every day? What do you eat?” “How do you eat if your summers are so short, and you can’t grow many types of vegetables?” “What do you do with the little babies in the winter, when it’s so cold?” “Your whole family leaves the house together? Aren’t you afraid of robbers?” (Stealing is a major problem here. Families always leave at least one person in the house to prevent thievery.)
Seeing my life through the reflection of these women’s eyes, I began to see how truly blessed I am. All the things I take as normal can only be imagined here. I amso incredibly blessedto not only have lived in Alaska, but to have the means to live other places and develop new lifestyles. I left the market not practicing new phrases or words, but humbled and speechless, grateful for the insight God gave me among these women.
Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me of your goodness. You have blessed me in so many ways. I stand, humbled, looking at the overflowing abundance you have poured into my life. From this place of provision, give me a heart to reach out to those in physical, emotional and spiritual need. I know you have blessed me so that I may bless others. Give me Your eyes to see the need, and Your heart to respond in generous, selfless compassion. You get the glory, Father.