Posts Tagged With: FMC

Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 36

Day 36 – Monday – 10/29/12

The first thing I realized this morning is that the last day of my fast is All Souls Day. It’s always neat when a big day like a birthday, anniversary, or something else falls on a feast day, because it gives it added significance. In this case I can offer up the last days of my fast for all who have passed away. And since Saturday marks my first day of normal eating again, not sure how I’ll celebrate for breakfast. Probably cook and eat a whole pack of bacon πŸ™‚ I’ve got three, maybe four days max to regain my normal appetite before the group gets here. That’s when Marta’s cooking starts!

Another thing I was thinking about during my morning walk was the challenge that ministry is going to be this week. I mean, how do you focus on your ministry when you’ve got 60 people descending upon your house over the next month? How do I keep focus when after being so quiet over here for so long, we finally get some liveliness, energy, and action in our house? On top of that, it’s gonna be a slow week anyways. We don’t have any rancho visits this week so we’ll have even MORE time to think about how excited we are about the group. πŸ™‚ It’s not a bad thing though. Just another opportunity to grow in focus & self-control. And speaking of self-control, another opportunity of growth will come soon once the group gets here. This will be the last week of getting to indulge in long text, video chat, & phone conversations with yesterday’s aforementioned yet-to-be-named female friend. I will enjoy the heck out of it, that’s for sure, because I really enjoy talking to her. But when the group comes, it’ll be nice to immerse myself in group activities and the group schedule. It’ll also give both of us (especially her, a school teacher) a chance to catch up on sleep a little bit! πŸ™‚ Besides, I’m sure that we’ll still have some form of communication, be it texting, email, brief phone call, or a combination of all three. Another benefit is it’s one of those “absence makes the heart grow fonder” moments that is necessary for a friendship (& God-willing a relationship) to flourish.

Yesterday, God blessed me with more of the normal hunger pangs before and after eating. And as always, eating a kinda big meal, and eating it late, did not eliminate them later in the day/evening. Neither did eating two of my favorite Mexican snack cake treats later in the evening do anything to mitigate the pangs. But what I did do was elicit a brief moment of sugar-induced bliss, and a few audible mm-mmm’s. πŸ™‚ The good thing about the group being here too is that group money will pay for all of the meals, so I’ll have a little more spare money to pay for snacks! Well, lemme end this on a sorta gross and random note, as a fun-loving bachelor missionary man’s mom would be inclined to do. Yesterday after eating my eggs for lunch, I noticed afterwards, that everytime I burped it tasted like potatoes. Weird, huh? Since when did egg-burps taste like potatoes? Oh well, maybe that was God’sΒ  modern day version of multiplying the loaves & fishes. πŸ˜€

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 35

Day 35 – Sunday – 10/28/12

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that a good journal entry is like a good dream. If you want to remember it, you are more likely to do so if you write it down earlier in the day. That’s probably why most of my journaling is done, or at least starts in the morning. Got some really good sleep last night. Let my body wake me up, since we didn’t have communion services today thus no early Mass. Looks like I’ll be going to Noon Mass! πŸ˜‰ The sun is out, the skies are blue, the air is nice and cold and crisp and refreshing. When I was heating up my morning coffee, I was thinking about how it would be black with some sugar in it. That is, until I remembered that I had bought some creamer yesterday, at which point I was super happy. You see, that’s an instance where it’s good to forget something because then you get a pleasant surprise because of it. Fired up my computer, in case any family or friends would try to call me or send me a message. Went on up to our chapel here at the mission house and had me some good morning prayer time, along with my hot cup of coffee for sure.

So another thing I’ve discovered is that my fast seems to be the source of much reflection and therefore much material for my journal. I think I’m rediscovering too that typing a journal entry instead of writing it really helps me to get my thoughts out faster. No, I don’t type at the speed of talk. That would be a superhuman strength reserved only for Super Man. I’m Sidney Man, not Super Man. But it does help. The only downside is that when compared to writing down a journal entry, I tend to not be as thoughtful or selective in what I write because I can write it much faster. Maybe typing a journal entry more accurately reflects the influence of my stream of consciousness, and writing a journal entry is more reflective of the general idea influenced by more time for reflection and composition.

Last night was an exercise in irony for me. If you recall in yesterday’s entry, I was waiting until the baby shower to eat since there would be food. Thought that it would be a late lunch, when in reality they ate around supper time. So what ended up happening is that I got tired of waiting (impatient much?) and ate my own supper, which was a decent amount of food. Then, not long after that I was informed that there was some food waiting for me. A big piece of cake, a cup of coke, tostadas (with beans, lettuce, and tomato) and a few marshmallows thrown in for good measure. I was FULL. And one of the things I’ve discovered as a hungry person is that you think that when you do get a chance to eat that if you eat alot of food, you won’t be hungry for a much longer time. After supper I discovered that was not necessarily true. By the time I went to bed, I was probably having as intense of a hunger pang that I’ve had all during the fast. Maybe my body, because of my hunger, digested the food super quick so that I could get nutrients. Anyhoo, the hunger was not a bad thing. It’s the whole point of a fast, and it’s the fuel, the raw material, the offering that you can offer up to the Lord.

Also last night I reinforced the notion that time flies when you’re having fun. Had another great conversation with a female friend last night. Talked about alot of different things. I mean, we did kinda sorta have a direction in the conversation, but it still had very much of a random feel to it. Like I said, I really enjoyed it, especially since we got to talk for a long time. God-willing, if things continue to go well, I might reveal her identity. But for now it’ll have to wait. Don’t wanna count the chickens before the eggs hatch. BUT, if I had to give you a percentage of likelihood that it will progress to that point, I’d say it’s at least 90%. πŸ˜‰ We shall see what we shall see.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 34

Day 34 – Saturday – 10/27/12

So, first things first. I GET AN EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP TONIGHT! πŸ˜€ No, I haven’t gained the ability to warp the space/time continuum. Neither do I plan on sleeping an hour later than I normally would. It’s just that in Mexico, Daylight Savings Time ends a week before it does in ‘Murica. So for a week, I’ll be 2 hours behind my fam in SC, 1 hour behind my fam in LA, same timezone as my mountain peeps, and only one hour ahead of my west coast peeps. Haven’t figured out Hawaii or Alaska yet.

Another thing on my mind is expectations, namely, when they are not only met but exceeded. That is an awesome experience in and of itself. And when the expectations you originally had, (based off of what you already knew) were already sky high, that makes the surpassing of them even that much more amazing. Because in your mind you’re thinking “Wow, this is gonna be REALLY good”, & that it’s so good that A.)how could it possibly be any better, & B.) if it’s this good, then I’m in for a treat! So, when the previously unthinkable happens, you’re left kinda speechless. You think “How is this POSSIBLE?!?” and the more you think about it, the best explanation you can hope for is a slightly confused train of thought that borders on turning into incoherent mind babble. What happens in the end is that you stop trying to find an explanation, because you realize you won’t and that somehow if you did it would remove the mystery. Instead you just sit back, smile real big, and enjoy it. πŸ™‚

Didn’t have any hunger pangs this morning, because of the discada I ate last night. But, because of the baby shower at 3, I won’t eat until then so I’ll have a little time to let it build up. I may end up eating a tiny tiny snack to hold me over, so that I can wait until after the baby shower.Β  The baby shower itself I’m not so sure what to think of. I’ve never been to one before. Yeah, I know what generally happens. Women get together, get all happy and fussy, compliment the mamma, watch her as she opens up each and every gift while they say “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!, isn’t that cute?”, and eat snack type foods. Or at least that’s what i THINK happens, since i’ve never been to one. It’s just that it’s basically a woman’s world, that men rarely ever venture into unless they are somehow obliged to. “HONEY! Can you get me the scissors outta the kitchen? I’m having trouble opening these gift bags!” But I don’t know alot of people here in town and I don’t have any golf courses to escape to. Ergo, it looks like I will be venturing into No-Man’s Land later this afternoon. Say a prayer for my well-being and safe return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I might just hide out in the office and only come out when they start serving the food πŸ˜€ )

In morning prayer, one of the Bible verses that stood out to me was 2 Peter 1:10 – “Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost.” I think it stood out because my first thought was “I don’t see myself being a foreign missionary forever. Why would I want to make this call and election permanent?” Then a few moments later, I realized that even if I remove the word “foreign” from my title, I should always keep the word “missionary”. If I’m a missionary forever and always, no matter where I’m at or what I’m doing in life, I know I won’t regret it.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 33

Day 33 – Friday – 10/26/12

Definitely felt the hunger pang this morning when I woke up, even though they gave me a small snack at the rancho prayer meeting yesterday afternoon. As I was heating upΒ  my coffee I made sure to offer it up and mentioned a few prayer intentions, because I knew that after I drank my coffee it wouldn’t be as much of a factor. Today looks to be a good day. At 11, me andΒ  Luis are headed out to one of the nearby ranchos to do a communion service. Then at 3, us and all of the mexican missionary families are going to a pecan orchard for our community Desert Day prayer time. I can almost guarantee you that we’ll be back before Mass, so I’ll take a shower and head to Mass once we get back. And tonight I really hope they do volleyball again. Hopefully it’s not a tournament either. It’s been fun the past few nights watchin’/playin’ volleyball. I just wish I’d have started doing this sooner during my time here, because I think I could have enjoyed it alot more and really gotten into it. Oh well, better late than never.

So the other thing that’s on myΒ  mind right now is time. Specifically, how fast or slow it passes. Even more specifically how fast it seems to go by when you’re really enjoying yourself. Why is it that 2 and a half hours seems like 10 minutes? 3 hours like 30 minutes? Wouldn’t it be more logical for God to make time pass more SLOWLY when we’re enjoying ourselves? It’s the only factor that keeps something that’s 95% awesome from being 100% awesome. The only thing I can surmise is that it makes us more appreciative of the time we do have in these kinds of situations.

Before we left for Desert Day, I ended up going on a thirty minute trek around town looking for floss, only to come up empty-handed. As I was leaving one of the stores, there was a blind beggar guy sitting on a crate outside. I’d seen him before, and I’ve even given him some money. But I didn’t give him any this time. I felt bad, but I still didn’t give him any money. I told myself that all I had was big bills and no small change. Well, maybe I was supposed to give him a big bill? Maybe I was supposed to buy something at the store so I could make change? Who knows….. All I know is that he was Jesus personified, and I passed him by. I hope my conscience keeps convicting me of this and similar situations, so I can be more generous with the poor.

In other news, we did end up doing volleyball again tonight. The winning team from last night brought their discada packet that they won to cook at the end of tonight’s friendly volleyball games. Discada is basically meat and vegetables that is cooked on a round metal disc. If it’s cooked inside in a kitchen, then normal pots or pans are used. The tradition comes from many years ago, when field workers would use one of the round metal discs that were used for tilling the fields, turn it horizontal, and use it to cook the meat and vegetables. I’m assuming they’d clean the metal disc before they cooked on it. πŸ™‚ Anyhoo, the discada was delicious, and even though I’m still on my fast I didn’t wanna be rude and turn down the hospitable offer for some food. AND, i was really really hungry too! πŸ™‚ Volleyball was fun too. I originally wasn’t gonna play cuz I definitely didn’t have the right clothes, and was wearing my leather/tire sandals. After the second invitation to play (they didn’t have quite enough people for a third team) I decided to play. I wouldn’t be bored, and the time would pass by quicker. Like I said earlier, it also gave me the chance to have some GOOD food.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 32

Day 32 – Thursday – 10/25/12

Accidentally overslept this morning. First of all, I forgot to reset my alarm after my nap yesterday. Also, I put it inside my nightstand instead of on top, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to hear it anyways. Oh well, it’s still a good morning. I think because I got a little extra sleep and am well-rested, and because God is good, and because we have beautiful clear blue skies, the sun is rising, and because there’s a nice cool refreshing breeze, I’m just happy. As I was watering the houseplants I remembered that I finished a book yesterday and get to start a new one today, and I ended up singin’ a little song and doin’ a little jig! πŸ™‚ Dorky, I know. The book I’m about to start is published by The Pontifical Council For The Family and is entitled “The Truth And Meaning Of Human Sexuality: Guidelines For Education Within The Family.” Looks to be very interesting and hopefully will give me guidelines and tips for when I have my own kids one day. I found it on the bookshelf here at our mission house. The next one is actually a small booklet on what the Church teaches about stem-cells, and then after that it’s a book called Mexican Martyrdom.

My only small sacrifice of the morning came when I realized I had no creamer for my freshly brewed coffee. Small thing, I know. But when coffee is a vital part of your morning routine, creamer is quite important! No worries though, cuz my coffee was fresh, hot, and had a little sugar in it too. Got to do a communion service at the nursing home and at one of our home visits. After that we made our rounds to the other missionaries’ houses to let them know that Desert Day prayer time is tomorrow at 3. It’ll be our last chance to do one as a group before the other missionaries arrive in November. Gonna do lunch at Rita and Gallo’s house, and then go with Raul and Marta to one of their rancho visits. Not sure if we’ll get back in time for Mass, but no biggie if not, because I got to receive the Eucharist when we did our second home visit. πŸ™‚

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 31

Day 31 – Wednesday – 10/24/12

Well I decided to sleep in an little bit this morning, and not get up for my morning walk. Stubbed my toe on Monday night, and I need to let it heal up anyways before putting on my running shoes. I also knew that today being “office hours” in the morning, would likely mean that I’d have a slow morning, since not many people come to the door. Ergo, I’d have time to do my reading and prayer at a leisurely pace. Man, for some reason, the coffee milk I had this morning was GOOD. Maybe it had somethin to do with the fact that I put three spoonfuls of sugar in it! πŸ™‚ Probably just gonna do various little small chores around the house today, eat me some lunch a little later on. We have a prayer service at the chapel in the neighborhood behind our house. It’s at 5pm this afternoon. We didn’t have many people show up last week, even though we told them the day before so they could spread the word. We even had Albert, who’s super good and going door-to-door and inviting people, make his way around the neighborhood while we waited in the chapel. I think we had about 5 or 6 people show up. But what I remembered for the bazillionth time, after I got over my obsession with numbers, is that if only one person shows up, and is touched by the Lord through us, then it’s worth it. So today, I doubt we’ll have a big crowd, though I’m sure we’ll have at least one or two people show up. We’ll do like we did last week: open up with a few songs and a prayer, preach on the readings of Mass that day, close in a prayer, and another song or two. We want it to be over before afternoon Mass at 6, so that not only we can go, but hopefully we can encourage them to go. There’s no substitute for receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

The hunger pangs have been hittin’ me pretty good the last few days. The one constant has been eating my daily meal at lunch time, and not having snacks at any other time of the day (except for my morning cup of coffee). So, I’ve been having some good stuff to offer up. I’m still struggling a little bit to be able to see Jesus in the people we serve. However, I did notice this morning when a lady came by to ask for medicine, that I didn’t have that normal resistance or impatience or feeling of discomfort that I’ve felt pretty strongly in the recent past. Slowly but surely, I think God is molding me and helping me to progress. We ended up not having the medicine she needed, and me and my mission partner’s funds are SUPER low (please say a prayer for that), so I wasn’t able to help her out with the meds. Another area to improve in, was that I didn’t pray with her. Sure, I was nice to her. Sure, I checked on the medicine thing. But I didn’t pray with her. I’m always telling people that the main charism of our missionary community is evangelism, yet I struggle to live that out. I always tell people that if we bring them material relief, but we don’t help them to have a relationship with Jesus, then all is for naught. And then I don’t pray with the people as much as I should. Need some help to improve in that area too.

Went to the volleyball court earlier tonight. It’s right next door at the presidencia. When I went two days ago just to watch and visit, I was asked twice if I wanted to play, but I didn’t have the right shoes or clothes. So today, not wanting to have a boring evening at the house, I decided to go to the volleyball court, and go prepared. Ended up playing for about half an hour and I really enjoyed it. My team won a few games, so evidently I wasn’t half bad! But I also think that I was the one providing comic relief to everybody, which I was glad to do. As long as people are smiling and having a good time. πŸ™‚ Came back home, read, prayed a rosary, and did night prayer. Settling down now for a relaxing evening…………

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 29

Day 29 – Monday – 10/22/12

Today marks the beginning of the fifth week of my fast. It has simultaneously taken a long time and gone by very quickly. I’ve learned alot in the first four weeks and I know there’s still so much more to learn in the last two weeks. One thing I’ve noticed about the first four weeks is that I was alot more focused on the mechanics of how to optimize the experience and all the various details. I also focused alot on the various other sacrifices that I added on to my 40 day fast. In hindsight I was too distracted by all the extras and by focusing on the mechanics of it all. These last two weeks I know that I’ll still be faithful to the food and facebook fast, but I’ll also be alot more relaxed. Hopefully I’ll focus more on the lessons I can learn from the experience.

On a random note, as I was reading through Lumen Gentium this morning, I came across this awesome quote by St. Leo the Great: “The partaking of The Body and Blood of Christ does nothing other than make us be transformed into that which we consume.”

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 28

Day 28 – Sunday – 10/21/12

Today was a good day and a LOOONG day. Woke up a little before 7 so I could start getting ready for 7:30am Sunday Mass. What on earth was I doing going to Mass that early? I’ll tell you what I was doing. I was…………….going to Mass, that, early. πŸ™‚ For reals though, I go to the early Sunday Mass on the 1st and 3rd Sundays because all of the eucharistic ministers in the parish get a blessing from Father after Mass and then go out to alot of the rancho chapels surrounding our town and do communion services. Me and Luis got our guitars and a few other small things together after the 7:30 Mass and then headed out to our ranchos. As usual, he did Estacion Marte and I did Pilar de Richerdson. Now we did have a slight change-up today. Typically, we do those two, and then we backtrack exactly the same way we came and do a third one on the way back. But, we would also typically do another communion service at another rancho chapel on Monday, this one also being really far away.

Here’s what we figured out: we could do the two we normally do on communion service Sundays, and instead of doing the third one we normally do on the way back, we’d visit the one we normally do on Mondays. But how? Well, the route we take on Sundays and Mondays parallel each other. But, there is a feeder/connector “road” (more like a rocky dirt path through the desert) that could get us from the two that we do on Sundays, to the one we have been doing on Mondays. And after we finish the one we normally do on Mondays, we head back down that route, essentially making our entire trip a big triangle. Then, what we’ll do is take the 3rd one from Sunday, and move it to Monday, couple it with another rancho chapel visit (that we already visit on Mondays) that’s really close to it, and save time and gas. I haven’t calculated the exact amount we’d save, but it’ll be a good bit. Add up the cumulative effect (which we could have been benefitting from if we’d have thought of this route sooner), and that’s alot of savings. When gas prices are high, and your income as a missionary is low, savings are a GOOD thing. So yeah, we did the Sunday part of that plan today, and obviously the Monday part will be tomorrow. Feels good to be saving time and money. Not to mention it made us feel smart for figuring it out, and going on that lonely rocky dirt path through the desert between the two routes made me feel very brave and adventurous. πŸ˜€

Had some good hunger pangs today too. I’d say yesterday was the first day since quite early on in my fast that I did my once daily meal exactly that way, as one meal, all at once. No snacks before or after. So when I got up this morning, I was already quite hungry. I did have my morning cup of coffee, but didn’t have any food. And seeing as how I knew communion service Sundays are long (we leave 30 mins – 1 hour after the 7:30 Mass and don’t get back to the house ’till 2:30), I knew I’d have something to offer up! πŸ™‚ That was the good part of the hunger. As I’ve said before, literally experiencing strong hunger pangs, and then having your first physical food be the literal Body and Blood of Christ in The Eucharist, is amazing. The downside is that at the first chapel where I conducted a communion service, I was feeling a little weak. Nothing too bad or unmanageable, but nonetheless, I was feeling it. I was fortunate though that I had brought my bottle of Gatorade. So I took a few swigs after the communion service, and that seemed to do the trick.

The rest of the afternoon/evening has been pretty relaxed. Ate a good, late lunch. Folded my laundry, read some more from the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). Looks to be a pretty slow and relaxing rest of the evening. The Saints played while we were away at communion services, and there are no other games to watch or chores to do. Gonna call Mawmaw Doris then Mom & Dad, and then who knows what else after that.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 27

Day 27 – Saturday – 10/20/12

You know that Bible verse somewheres in the NT, the one that says basically “I do what I don’t wanna do and don’t do what I wanna do”? Well, most of us know that it’s normally interpreted as “I do the bad stuff that ain’t good for me to do, even though I know it’s bad and don’t really wanna do it, and I don’t behave like I know I should and like I want to and know that I need to”. I actually experienced it in reverse last night: “I do the good stuff that’s hard for me to do, and I don’t do the bad stuff that I kinda want to”. I suspect that alot of you experience that as well. You know, wanting to do what you’re not supposed to, but you sacrifice your personal desires for the sake of doing what’s right. That not so easy or pleasant but oh-so-necessary part of being a Christian.

Last night, the devil was comin’ at me hard. He was tempting me, trying to get me to fall. However, by God’s grace and my cooperation with it, I stood firm. Though I could definitely stand to improve in how efficiently and quickly I cooperate with his grace. And so, while the experience itself obviously was not pleasant, in hindsight I’m very happy that I was victorious in that situation. I truly think it’s yet another sign that I’m turning the proverbial corner in my spiritual life. When I think about how hard the Devil tempted Jesus when he was fasting in the desert, and how Jesus held firm, the parallel is a very striking one. Hunger, the very thing that is exposing my weakness, is also what’s making me strong.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 26

Day 26 – Friday – 10/19/12

Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own.” Came across this verse in morning prayer. It seems to be a theme that God is trying to teach me during my fast. No explanation needed, because the verse is pretty straight-forward. Just powerful though, and on point.

And look, I realize haters gon’ hate. But I am not afraid to admit that I was listening to Rascal Flatts and Taylor Hicks as I was walking to my Desert Day spot here at the local cemetery. Why? Well, it would have been a long, boring walk without it. I also just wanted to feel mo’ happy, and that kinda music makes me happy. πŸ™‚ Kinda ironic though that I’d wanna play happy music on the way to a cemetery where i’m supposed to quiet myself and be all meditative and listen to the Lord. I’m such a STRANGE creature. Lord, you really did break the mold when you made me. Desert Day was supposed to be in the mountains @ Tejocote today. But late last night Luis was asked to bring some people to Saltillo today in order to take care of some property papers or whatever at the courthouse. So I’m doin’ Desert Day solo. I really hope he gets back early enough so that we can do our rancho chapel visits to Tejocote and Dos de Abril. We’re nearing the end of our “good-bye” week as a team of singles.

Stayed up a little late last night talking to a friend on Skype, but it was worth it. I really enjoyed our conversation. So, naturally this morning I was a little tired, but managed to get up at my normal time for my morning walk and routine. Had that vital daily cup of coffee with me as I started my morning prayer. (I thank the Lord everyday that he invented coffee). I enjoy morning prayer in community, but when I know it’s just me for morning prayer, I enjoy that too. I don’t have a schedule to worry about, and I can take things at a more leisurely pace. Looking forward to some good prayer time here before we hit up the ranchos this afternoon. Pretty cool thing happened on the way here, twice. I passed up two guys and for a split-second, when I looked at them, I saw Jesus. Not literally, because the guys looked the same as I’m sure they always do. But I just had a strong sense, a realization, that I was looking at Jesus. Maybe because these guys looked a little destitute, and Jesus has a heart for the poor. It was an awesome experience. One of my prayer intentions the past couple of months has been to see Jesus when I see the poor. I’m thinking that prayer is being answered because I have this fast and voluntary suffering to offer up. Maybe the fast is what I need to be able to starting opening the eyes of my heart, so that they can control the eyes in my head, so that I can see Jesus reflected in everyone I see, especially the poor and those to whom I’m sent to serve.

Nighttime update: Luis ended up getting back early afternoon, sometime before 1. I had just arrived back at the house from my Desert Day prayer time when I realized he was already home. Second day in a row that I was pleasantly surprised that a Saltillo trip went much quicker than expected. We left for our two rancho chapel visits (Tejocote and 2 de Abril) around 3:30ish. At Tejocote we had a good crowd. As usual no men showed up, but we had at least 15-20 women, and a few kids too. We knew that they might bring a little something for all of us to snack on, but I was surprised at how much they brought. As with everyone else we minister to here, they aren’t rich, and could justifiably save the money spent on the food they brought for a myriad of other legitimate needs. And though the crowd at 2 de Abril was much smaller (5 women), proportionately, they brought just as much. These poor people are putting on a clinic on how to be generous! It’s humbling too, that they’d do it for us. I know God has me here, but I don’t think what we do is all that special. But as insignificant as my work seems to me at times, these people appreciate it. And if these humble and generous people appreciate it, and if God loves these poor people as much as I’m taught that he does, then it follows that whatever we’re doing here as missionaries must be something good

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