Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jesus?

It’s CRAZY around here right now.

And this is a long post.

With lots of words.

And, if you’re anything like me, you won’t read because it’s too long and there aren’t many pictures.

But please read.

In a week we leave for a 6 week trip to the states. Needless to say, this means some serious prep work on our part. We’ve left quite a bit for the last minute, but….sometimes, when you’re tired, that’s all you can do.

Let me share a bit about what we’re going to be doing in the next 6 or so weeks.
As you may know, we serve with Word Made Flesh in Galati, Romania. For a week and a half in July we’ll be gathering with other WMF staff in Nebraska for a retreat that happens every 3 years. This is a first for both of us and we are excited to spend time with other international staff.

But first, we are going to celebrate our first anniversary in Paris! On our way to the states we’re stopping by the city of love, the city of lights, the city of fashion, the city of….a 2 day visit for us. Yes, we only have 2 days because 1) we don’t have a lot of money and 2) we don’t have a lot of money.

After Paris, we’re taking the train across the water to London and spend a day there before we hop on a plane for Portland, OR! I’ve not been to either Paris or London and I’m super excited! And, it was cheaper for us to travel this way, then to leave from Bucarest and fly directly to Portland. Can’t beat that with a stick….as someone’s Grandpa used to say.

So, we get to Portland and then head up to Seattle, then down to Redlands, over to Omaha, and down to Houston before we head back to Romania.

PHEW!

So, not only are we busy right now…it’s gonna be a busy few weeks…

But I can’t tell you how excited I am…I can almost taste it.

While we are in the states we are going to have several OPEN HOUSES so we can share about our work and life in Romania. We decided to do a photo exhibition because it seems a creative way to not only talk about but display our lives. Here’s a taste of what you can expect should you come to one of the open houses: (contact me if you want details so you can come!)



On top of all this I want to share about part of my day.

I have some photos of kids that I need parental permission to use. So, I headed out this morning with papers in hand to get signatures.

One home belongs to a family that I’ve talked about often because I worked with them a lot of last year. The twins…

In the year I’ve known then, they’ve lived in 4 different locations. And this one, well…

I know it’s trite to say that something breaks my heart. There’s probably a more poetic way to say how it felt to walk into the courtyard shared by so many families that felt more like a barnyard.

But I don’t know how to say it except that I wanted to cry afterwards.

So, I walked in and I asked where the family was and a woman pointed me to the back of the property. Around the corner, a family lay in the shade and the mother was nursing her baby. They all sat up and I was embarrassed, but none of them seemed to be. I asked where the family I was seeking stayed and a little girl said she’d go get them.

And she did. She brought down my sweet girl M who was carrying her little sister who they all refer to as Princess and her small brother trailing behind.

They were so dirty.

M’s twin brother was at school. Her parents were working. She was left at home to watch the others.

I know that the poor exist among us every day, every where.

And today, the poor was the face of M.

And, she was not only a face. She’s the little girl I adore. I love. I hope things for.

And, I was not only faced with the barn they live in, but with the gravity of what her future looks like. She won’t finish school. She’ll probably marry around 14. That’s in 5 years. Until then, she’ll stay at home with the younger ones while her parents work.

The injustice of this angers me. Burning white hot anger.

I walked away, crying. Because I miss M, because I love her, because I’m mad.

And even in the middle of so much injustice, this is what never ceases to amaze me:
Christ’s own incarnation looked very much like what I walked into today. Not just the night he was born in a stable, but the very way he emptied himself and took on humanity.

For a person like me who complains because she doesn’t have hot water. Who gets to visit Paris and London. Who gets to go home for 6 weeks.

But I don’t think any of that really matters. I think he wants those things for me, just as he wants M to have an education and a chance to marry when she’s older.
But what grabs my soul again and again is this little one, my M, leads me again, to the heart of Jesus.

And there we’re given all we really need.

And if the face of M is the face of the poor and she leads me to the heart of Jesus, then maybe, just maybe, I saw his face today.

And that, my friends, is a gift bigger than any trip to Paris or the States could ever be.

7 comments:

Leila said...

Dear April,

The second part of your post, the M story, is something we live with here in Moldova. It is painful indeed to see what such children, families struggle with... And other things, in comparison to this one, seem to be a vanity, right?

jo said...

just give me Jesus.

jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank And Lela said...

April,

This was a truly touching story. Thank you for writing it. It didn't help that Renae is M's age...Wow!

Jason said...

Your story resembles very closely the existence of coloured kids in the poor townships of South Africa that we came to know that last few months. Would love to connect with you in Seattle!

Tim and Richelle said...

the face of poverty is so hard, especially when you can't escape... especially when you can - because you can - escape. thanks for sharing. i've got a few M's myself.

have a fabulous trip... anniversary celebration, retreat... and hopefully you'll get a little bit of time in there just to rest.

April said...

grateful for all the comments on this post...please remember M when you pray.

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