Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Dichotomy

Between today and yesterday I got the opportunity to take three trips off base. First, yesterday I went to ShopRite (the westernized grocery store we use) with several other missionaries on one of the weekly runs. We went in a little bus and were left there for about an hour to do our shopping. It took me that long to find everything I was looking for. Finding things in ShopRite is sort of like never know where they are going to put it and sometimes its just not there because they didn't get it in. Second, last night we went out to dinner for Erin's last night here. We went to a place called Sophie''s a cute little restaurant about 30-45 minutes from the center in the city. It was fun to do something "normal" with all the girls I've met here. And I got to eat a was AMAZING! Last, today I went with Chris to bring Erin to the airport and run a few errands. We went back to ShopRite to grab a few things and to a place called The Cash and Carry where they buy baby formula. The Cash and Carry is sort of like Sam's Club; everything comes in bulk and you get a cart (like the one's at Home Depot or Lowe's) to pull around the stuff you are getting. It's crowded and there seems to be no system for paying or leaving or anything. It was a bit overwhelming to me.
Anyway, the point is outside the center walls life is so much different than in here. In here life is not as you know it in the States, but still all of the children who live here have three meals a day, clothes that fit them, shoes to wear, a place to sleep, and are going to school. Not to mention the fact that they are loved on by as many people as possible each day and are learning about having a relationship with Jesus. I'm not sure that paints a great picture for you...because they don't live AT ALL like American children, but all the same they are so blessed in comparison to the rest of their country. As for outside the walls of the center, everyone is selling things on the street, walking bear foot down the road, small children are unattended everywhere you look, women are carrying water and food on their's hard to describe the conditions that are normal for these people. If you have been to a third world country maybe use that picture, but honestly it is worse in some ways than anything I saw in Ecuador between the 2 times I was there. Ok, maybe not worse, just different. The fact that everything is dirty because EVERYTHING is covered in sand seems to make health, life, and work harder. And I think the difference is that here poverty is blatant and universal. It's not something you have to look for; it's something that is consistently in your face. Some sights make me want to cry, others make me want to beg God for change and restoration.
Basically I am living in a dichotomy. To compare inside the walls with outside is hard, but to compare my previous life with this one is hard as well. I wonder what God's plan is for each of children who live here...especially those who have been here since before they can remember...what great things He must have for them to do...what great blessings they are receiving now to prepare them for the future. The whole thing leaves me in awe of the Lord I am serving.
(I realize now I should have taken pictures of the community for you...I'll do it soon.)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the description of your outings Meghann! I'm so curious about the life of others on this planet and your insight really does help. Keep up the great work and kiss those babies for me!!