Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Blessing and an Embarrassing Moment

One of our fabulous translators, Eunice, the Assistant Director of the Orphanage, Norah (in the pic dressed in a blue shirt with her back to me) and myself trekked to the Market in Zacapa one day last week. Our mission to purchase a pan to make tortillas (the flat silver pan you see Norah holding) and to pay their pharmacy bill.

Now before we arrived at the market Norah started talking with Eunice and I could tell she was being insistent about something. So Eunice informed me that Norah didn't want to pay the Pharmacy bill they needed milk more. Reality check ....powdered milk which they use to feed the babies and the younger children is SUPER expensive there. Even more than the 1300 Q that they owed the Pharmacy. To put things in perspective for most a decent weeks wage is 30 Q. Now if they don't pay their Pharmacy bill they get cut off, no more credit which also equals no ability to purchase pain relievers for the kiddoes, and other things you can only get at the Farmacia. So you can imagine my response. Duh! I very quickly told Eunice to tell Norah we were going to pay the Pharmacy bill AND get the milk. Goodness! These are the kinds of decisions they have to make every day for children that aren't even theirs but they sure love them like they are. Norah just smiled at me in relief.

Anyway, we started going through the market which is in reality an alley between the buildings about 4blocks long with vendors on both sides and only a very narrow area in which to walk. After we paid the Pharmacy bill we walked further into the market area to the grocery store to purchase the milk. Now they don't have shopping bags available like we do here in every store so we grabbed a box and put everything in it. After filling it, it was a VERY heavy box. Norah carried it out and started walking the 3 blocks back to the van. Then about halfway she asked to stop and rest. While we stopped I insisted that she finally give the box to me. Which she fussed and fussed and finally allowed me to carry.

As I was carrying it the last 500 yards I didn't notice the 2 feet long 10 inch tall concrete divider sticking up in our path. You can probably imagine the rest, I tripped and fell with my right leg catching the full impact of the divider. Now I truly believe that it was due to many peoples' prayers and God's loving care for me that I didn't break my leg, because my right leg caught the full impact of the divider. They have (yes have...they are all still there) a tremendously deep bruise and look like someone beat them with a baseball bat. They are all hues of black, blue, purple and yellow. And yes, even though this was seriously embarrassing, I mean I was the tall white woman in orange pants, yes orange, who was laying flat on my face in the market, it was still a blessing to me.

How? You may ask. There was an old gentleman in his booth to the right of my fall. After I fell he immediately came running around from his booth to help me up and with not just any stool for me to sit on but his stool. As he helped me sit on the stool I noticed that his face reflected his concern and he kept asking me through Eunice's translating if I was okay and telling me to rest a minute, take a deep breath and rub my legs where I fell on them. Now I wanted to cry not from embarrassment but from the care and concern of a man who I would never see again but cared enough about this alien in his land to reach out to me in such an embarrassing moment.

After resting a few minutes and smiling at the little man and listening to him chattering with Norah and Eunice, and listening as well to Eunice and Norah chattering away about being worried that I was hurt worse than I was letting them know. I began to wonder how can I bless this man? What can I give back to him for his kindness? God just kept impressing upon me that this was grace. This man was being gracious to me in His name and to try to buy or do something in return would just cheapen it. So as I finally stood with the help of the little man and much to the protests of Norah and Eunice (truly I was okay, just sore and stiff) I kept hearing the man tell me: "Que Dios te bendiga and Vaya con Dios" God bless you and God be with you over and over even after we reached the end of the market.

And God did bless me in those moments in a place far away from home through the care and loving attention of this man who could have looked the other way and ignored me just as many others did that day. But instead he took a risk reached out and showed his loving care. Lots of lessons learned. For example language barriers can't keep the love of God down. It has to burst out and it translates for itself. No interpreter is needed. When was the last time you were shown or YOU showed God's love beyond language barriers?

Oh and in case you were wondering no bags of milk were injured or burst open from the fall :-)


Amy M. Fry said...

And further proof God uses ANYthing and EVERYthing to just SHOW UP!!!!

What an amazing adventure for you. You're lookin GOOD Sweetie! Course, I don't know if the pic on the lower part of the blog was before or after your fall, but you've got long pants on anyway.. :) I'm really glad you're ok and nothing, even the bags of milk, got broken!
Love ya

Jmom said...

Thank you for sharing this moment with us. Grace has no boundaries!

Emily said...

I have loved reading your updates and following you on your trip through twitter updates:) Love you and miss you, friend! Thank you so much for the hair tips on my post!!!