The Marangatu La Lomita visit has impacted me deeply and I still think about it. On the trip back to our home, Missionary Cho commented that the kids there are hungry and that they don’t really get food, especially ones who do not have any parents. He mentioned that the church till recently had served food ( bread and milk) for about 150 kids on a consistent basis every Sunday. He also mentioned that it costs about $40 US dollars per week. I asked why they stopped. He answered that the person who was supporting it stopped. Annie and I were both moved to help out.
The incident that keeps reminding me of La Lomita goes like this:
After the service was over gifts and drinks of orange tang were passed out to all the kids. The juice was not cold, or made in any sanitary way. It was mixed in some sort of large plastic bucket and passed out in washed and reused plastic cups. From nowhere, the pastor of that church pulled out a new, unopened, cold, refreshing bottle of coke and poured it into nice metal cups for Missionary Cho and I.
As soon as I received the cup, I realized that there were white specks floating around inside. I took my finger and fished them out. The more I stirred the water, the more white specks came out. I then looked carefully and noticed that the specks were coming off of the cup. I didn’t want to drink it in fear of getting sick. . . at the same time I didn’t want to offend the giver. I understand that this is a luxury that they are giving. I decided I needed to drink it and devised a way to drink it in a way to avoid the specks.
Even though I did this, I was still getting specks in my mouth which I was spitting out, so I decided that I could not drink this and needed a way to throw it away. What a shame. So I used Annie as an excuse, I asked, them where Annie was so that I can give her the rest. They told me that she already got a cup. DARN IT. I had to think of another plot. Meanwhile, I kept sipping away at it, and kept spitting out. I got it down to half way and could not take it any longer. I walked away and as discreetly as possible threw the rest away. I hope nobody saw me.
Soon after, we as we were leaving, I hear from Annie that she got a sip and that she shared most of it with the other kids who basically finished hers. I thought to myself. DARN! All those kids that would have killed to have a cold soda. I could have shared it. At the same time, I didn’t want to share that wasn’t clean. At the same time, the cups and the plastic tub they used were probably not any more cleaner than the cup that I had. DARN! Do you see the conflict?
I’m not sure even now what would have been the better decision. However, I believe that my heart needed to be in the right place. When I think of those kids and my foul heart, I get tears in my eyes. My selfish nature embarrasses me.
Through this, I have learned about how selfish I am . . I who have come to this country in the name of Jesus and for His Mission . . . how shameful. I thank God for reviling this to me now. We are working hard to adjust to this country’s language and values. Our heart is also being broken and remolded for His purpose. Please continue to pray for us.