Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Most Joyful People Alive

Today's devotion was done by Doug...Dr. Doug Boyette.  He's a wonderful, kind man from Shelby who is a Cardiologist. 

John 13:34-35 "“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

In Doug's devotion...it talked how the church is the servant society.  Christians are called to be servants.  To be in Christ is to be in the ministry.  Once we turn our lives over to Christ, then people become our agenda.  Our calling is to care about people-helping them to know the Savior, growing in grace, and face life's challenges.  Our happiness is related to pouring ourselves out for people.  That means giving up our privacy, schedules, monies, time, talents, and gifts....to make good judgements in relation to others.  The Lord puts people in our lives so that we can be to them what He has been to us. 

Today, Susan and I are going up the mountain with the clinic team.  Dr. Mike has told me it's a beautiful trip and he wants me to meet Darren, the missionary there.  He's from Columbia, S.C. and he just recently met him, himself.  The trip up was extremely slow starting...we had to make numerous stops around Barahona before FINALLY getting on our way around 10:15 or so...I think had we had this kind of delay and frequent stops in the states to leave for a trip, I would have been a basket case...but somehow today, I enjoyed it...tried to make the best of it by shooting some pictures and enjoyed the people on the clinic team...thinking about the people on the bus with me.

You see...these people, were the people who had become or are becoming the most joyful people alive...They are channeling the love of Christ to all those they meet.  Yes, it's still early and some are still finding their niche' on the trip...but they're all willing, able, and joyful.  All have already had a day of sharing in God's love...both to the people and from the people.  We can't care for others without some of the blessings spilling over onto us...My attitude always changes here.  I have said that it's easier to be 'the person Christ wants me to be here.'  It is...I don't have all the distractions, gadgets, electronics, my job....here I'm just me being me...the best of me.  I'm a better person when I'm being a servant to others...unconditionally. 

Life drags me down at home sometimes...responsibilities, making decisions...but while I'm here..the hard realities of daily life are replaced by joyfulness.  Are we tired at the end of the day, you bet...but as tired as you are during the day...you continue to move foreward...making a difference in the next life.  So often it's the little things we do for each other that matter the most...most often the little things is what makes someone else change...soften...come around.  If we can be a servant to others, it's easier for them to learn to be a servant themselves.  I can't say I would have the same attitude if I were here all the time...I've said before in this blog that "I'm not selfless enough" to do this...but my prayer is that each time, it makes a dent chipping away at my selfishness and materialistism.

Christ is calling us all to be servants, whether it's in your own home town or nearby state...or in a 3rd world country.   He calls us all to missions...to go serve.  Every year my goal seems to be to go home and never allow this experience take me back to the person I was...and at first that's not a problem.  My emotions stay so close to the service that I often have trouble adjusting to 'reality' of my life.  But...honestly within 3-4 months...LIFE as I know it, sucks me back in...back into a reality world, a materialistic world. 

Yet again, this year...I'll try yet again...to look at more and more opportunities to serve in Christ's name...whether it be in my neighborhood, my job, my church, within my sorority, or my family and friends. 

Today was a beautiful day.  There was only a small number that attended the clinic as the population around the clinic site was only about 200 people.  There was a truck load that arrived that probably came from across the border.  The majority of the patients had neck pain, back pain, high blood pressure...The one thing that struck Doug and I the most was the neck and back pain issue.  We asked how much one of the field workers, who works different crops,  makes a day...and were astonished to learn 200 pesos?  That's only about $6-7 U.S....I couldn't help but react as Doug and I just looked at each other.  I became emotional being reminded again who greedy I am...how I can spend that a day if I eat out for lunch...or Doug said that was 2 of his latte's...seriously!  Yet...they are joyful people.  I often think the happiest people here are the christians...the ones where when you say "Dios' La Bendiga"...they say "Amen."  It's the ones that when you smile at them...they'll smile back.  It's almost like you're looking at Christ at the same time. 

Am I one of the most joyful people alive...probably not. Most anybody that knows me, knows that I'm not a morning person...so joyful in the morning...definitely not.  But, I do love smiling into the face of a Dominican woman, man, or child and saying "Buenos Dia" or "hola" and show them some kindness.  In the morning...that takes effort for me, and as each one smiles back with a Spanish greeting...I wake up to the morning with Christ.

The day was filled with kindness, it had to be...and a lot of patience and grace on our parts.  We had multiple stops in the morning...was on the road to the location at least 1 1/2 hours...maybe more.  Once we got to the dirt road that took us to the clinic, we had to unload all the meds off the bus..transfer to a truck where 1/2 the team also joined in.  The bus was able to make the trip up the mountan but it was very slow....again, a reminder that the pace of this journey is not up to us...so walk away.  It also goes much smoother if you still objective and joyful.  I loved snapping pictures of the houses, the people sitting outside their homes.  The wild Poinsettas, Inpatience, Wandering Jew, and other plants & trees.  The mountainside of coffee...and a reminder of how big this world really is, if I can begin to even comprehend it?

On our way home our bus had a blow out...it's a long story but we ended up coming down the mountain with 1 left rear tire blown out on a double axel bus....we went slowly, Praise God.  But, we laughed and reminded ourselves of the slow start this morning, the late start getting going wiht the clinic...and the flat blownout tire this evening.  How all of this would etch a memory of this day in our minds for this trip...and through it all we were the most joyful people alive and were blessed.


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