Ferry's In The Jungle

Ferry's In The Jungle
1 Peter 1:22b "Love one another deeply, from the heart."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Limited Good?

One of the challenges we face on a daily basis is the deeply rooted core believe that there isn't enough "good" to go around. The idea of limited good. This idea that if one person gains or gets ahead, their neighbor loses or gets behind. The idea that when one person profits, another loses complicates relationships between family members, friends, churches, neighbors and beyond. Recently we experienced this first hand and it grieved our hearts greatly.

Our friend asked us to drive her to a clay source 2 hours into the jungle. You see, she makes clay pots (called mokawas) to sell and support her family. Being 7 months pregnant she intended to spend the next couple months working and firing the clay to sell pots before her baby was born. These funds would go towards school supplies for her kids, diapers for the baby and other very imminent needs. 

With happy hearts our plan was to drive into the jungle and dig up the clay that was graciously offered by a friend of a friend.  This all changed with this friend of a friend saw our car, our faces and deduced that Emma had enough opportunity in her life and their generosity shifted to jealousy. Their goodwill to deceit. 

Unknowingly we dug up the clay and carried the heavy bags out on our backs. We celebrated while driving home, believing that Emma would get to work and have funds to support her family. This was not to be. Once the clay pots were shaped and then placed over the fire it was revealed that they took us to the "faulty clay source", the source that looked like clay but was not good for making pots and most certainly would shatter when placed over the fire. 3 days of work and the hope we all carried was shattered with the pots when they were placed over the fire. 

We were all devastated. A day spent traveling and days spent fashioning the pots wasted. More painful than this time loss was the deep grief brought on by the behavior driven by this belief in "limited good". 

Our backs still ached from the carrying heavy bags of clay but our hearts ached more. The pain of seeing our friend discouraged and hurt was compounded by our sadness of the cultural reality we face every day. How difficult it must be to live seeing others thrive and thinking you will not. How difficult it must be to labor and believe that you are taking hope and opportunity from another. 

A wise counselor once told us, "When you face the brokenness of your country and its people don't throw up your arms and say it's hopeless. Let it be a reminder of the need for Hope and Love and Healing and Wholeness and STAY. Be light in the darkness." 

So we stay and fight the daily battles with the hope that one day those around us will truly understand that God is GOOD and that he has enough GOODNESS to go around. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Breakfast with the neighbors...


Cultural Assimilation is challenging and an ongoing process. I just observed Georgia eating breakfast at our table, facing out to the street for all to see. Our house is open to the street and we could easily hold a conversation with a passing neighbor from the kitchen table.

This morning a neighbor passed by and Georgia joyously waved at him and continued eating as if it was completely normal to have your breakfast meal be a public affair. Year one in our Ecua-home she refused to leave her room in her PJ's because of the possibility of being "sighted" and now we are in our PJ's, waving and eating with a big smile; messy hair and all.

Living abroad plays out in zig-zags and swirls of assimilation. Much prayer and processing goes into shepherding Georgia and Reese through this process of cultural assimilation and identifying with multiple cultures and environments. This looks like allowing them to "hide" from time to time and then challenging them to step out a little when we see the fortitude and desire which often only exhibits in droplets or glimpses. Stretch, release, comfort, cheer, challenge, repeat. This is our life.

So today I rejoice. I rejoice that the zig-zag, swirly process bore fruit today. Fruit that encourages this momma's heart. Fruit that says, "Yes. They are ok." Fruit that says, "I am the Lord your God. Trust me. I have them in the palm of my hand."