I'm praising the Lord. This post is one of thanksgiving - for all the people God puts in my life to save the day. These are heroes - real, live ones who will probably never be duly thanked for the way they (in one way or other) line right up next to Timothy, in taking a genuine interest in the welfare of others. That really sets a person apart, you know?
Here's my all-star list:
Douglas drives bus number 8 and wears aviator glasses. Last year, whenever I ended up on his bus, I always thought he didn't really like his job (especially when it involved carting a bunch of gringos around) because of he kept quiet and often listened to headphones.
But, this year he sure did surprise me! He was the one who picked me up at the airport and then helped me get the car ready to drive and then... quickly turned into my dependable and trustworthy mechanic. I seriously can't explain the kindness and honesty ... and the patience about all the questions, scattered Spanish, and constant pleas for "cheaper." He is seriously a blessing (so whoever was out there praying for me to find a good mechanic consider it answered!).
Hm. I don't quite know how to start this one. I had a friend come visit from the states. I took full advantage of the convenience in my car... driving around the countryside, the mountains, to my student's house, and back again to the city... then I took one wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood called 21 de Octubre... at night... in the rain. And at that moment (not any other moment, like for instance on a curvy mountain road or in a isolated location) my right wheel decided to stop responding to the steering wheel.
Long story short(er), God provided moment by moment and led me to the doorstep of Jose Miguel, not a 2 minute walk away. He was so kind and helpful and promised to work as quickly as he could. Then his nephew drove by and Jose Miguel volunteered him to take us home (in his little teeny pinto with cardboard covering the windshield). So we arrived home and we could not stop exclaiming about God's providence and timing... and then 2 hours later as we were trying to figure out the schedule for picking up the car the next morning, JM called to say he finished and he would drive it to my house. WOW.
Stacy, Laura, Steph, Cara
You may or may not be aware that in the past few weeks I've had countless opportunities to use my animated, excitable nature to... fReAk oUt. With the 24/7 prayer room and the Sleep Out and various other activities (oh, yes, and don't forget randomly not having school after winning against El Salvador), I felt the stress to the max. These girls jumped right in, constantly asking if and what I needed. My sanity is probably still in place because of the thoughtfulness and compassion of these girls. May their reward be great!!
We don't have to say much, Jess and I. We kind of just know that we are always in need of support and she does a darn good job of giving it! She is such an encourager... and I think we are like-minded in wanting to be fully in our ministry here. We have this kind of respect between us - where we may make plans, but time with students always trumps. All I know is, in the past week, Jess has constantly spurred me on and I'm so thankful!
I won't lie - it's been difficult. Last year, Heather and I did pretty much and completely everything together. We led Bible study, went to the feeding center, got groceries, explored, worshipped. We were a team and a pretty good one. Well, it seems that we were almost too good. God wanted us to split up so we'd both depend on Him more and each other less. I haven't enjoyed going solo, but I have seen the Lord show me things I need to change in order to rightly represent Him. Heather? She's in Canada, which may sound far, but from the notes, emails, and (yes, even!) packages, it sometimes feels like she's still close. The only thing I hate is that condensing my thoughts is so time-consuming that I don't feel like we really ever adequately 'catch-up.'
So, I'm taking Spanish lessons from this angel of a woman named Lourdes. Every other Tuesday I get to sit under her tutelage and her wisdom. God is using her in my life to bring strength and courage and affirmation. I cannot express how blessed I am to share time and space with a woman so devoted to God's purposes.
Gerardo drives bus 12 and always wears a baseball cap. I know Gerardo pretty well because he's my bus driver. I'm not sure if it's the Caedmon's Call song (bus driver) or the fact that my grandpa is a bus driver, but I just have a pretty grand appreciation for the profession. In any case, Gerardo takes great care with his job. Every turn and stop is precise. Some of the kids on the bus share a special handshake and others always make sure to share some conversation before leaving. He's softspoken, but so tender-hearted. When he drives the late bus he always drives right to our gate instead of dropping us at the end of the dark street. His kindness is really impressive.
Where do I begin with this girl? She is in 9th grade and she's earned the title of "my rock star" and I'm not kidding around. The Hands and Feet service club meets once/week on Wednesdays and Eloisa is always getting down to business. Her commitment and creativity has (many weeks) been the brightest spot in my day. This past weekend for the sleepout, she offered herself every spare minute and then followed me around after school running errands. We don't have many students who are that perceptive to the needs of others, but this one sure is. I'm so grateful!
I know there are many, many more who bless my life each day. But, today, these are the heroes. Praise God for them!