God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Gas Man

SO, I was thinking about killing this blog, as we now mostly blog as a family here. But, although I am keeping a journal, I thought that it would be beneficial to me to think through some of the new things that I am experiencing. Let's take a step back... 2 weeks ago, me and my family moved to Peru. We are working with a church plant in Cusco, involved with youth and children's work. I have never done overseas mission before, yet here I am, a long way away from home with my hubby and 2 small children. Y hablo un poquito Espanol. Even thus far, I feel challenged and closer to God, but I want to use this space to be real about the highs and the lows of this adventure that God has called us to. Check out the other blog for photos, this is full of my ramblings without pictures!

In Peru, there aren't gas mains and instead there are gas bottles. When they are empty, someone delivers new ones. The other day, Neil popped out with the mission worker who has been settling us in and I was left at home with the kids, waiting for the delivery - all I had to do was let him in and pay him - simple enough. The bell went and I realised (so I thought) that Neil had the key for the gate - which I thought was locked. I know very little Spanish and could think of even less, as I ran out shouting 'espere uno minuto, por favor, perdon, perdon.' I scrambled around for a spare key, which I couldn't find, and I tried to call Margaret but the battery was dead on the phone. Daniel, bless him, was shouting at the gate, 'wait a minute, Mummy is coming!' And all the time, I was getting more frustrated and cross, with Neil for taking the key, and with myself for not charging the phone. Most of all, I felt so frustrated that I couldn't do anything - I couldn't communicate on the most basic level and complete a very simple household task. How can I be any use here? Whay has God called me here when I feel so useless? I then realised that the gate wasn't even locked and I felt even more stupid. He came back a few minutes later and everything was sorted, but it was just so hard.

I was disappointed that I had got so panicky and cross. But, this whole experience is the best lesson in humility that I have ever had. It is helping me to rely on others and accept their help, with out (much)pride. In training, we were told that at first we would feel like babies, and it is so true. There is a beauty to this; I feel like I am seeing the world in such a fresh way, a simple trip to the shops is full of adventure and new sights and sounds. I saw a humming bird the other day land on the garden fence, and I could have cried as it was so beautiful and so far from my normal experience. But it is hard to be so dependent on others, on fellow mission workers, shop workers and most other people that I encounter! It is also wonderful to be blessed as they shower us with time, patience and understanding.

I hope it is helping me to empathise more with others. I hope that God is showing me how to love poeple on the outside, where there are cultural and language barriers. Don't worry, I know that my ethnicity, class and nationality mean that I will never encounter the barriers that many people face. It just feels right now that part of this whole process is an extreme way of God showing me a glimpse of waht it is like for many people in this world. Maybe it had to be extreme for God to really show me.

Jesus comes as the servant king, choosing to be stripped of power. In some small way, I feel that coming here has stripped me of power. I am blown away once again that the Son of God came to Earth as a baby, weak, defenceless and utterly dependent on others. Washing his disiples feet was only a part of it. I just pray that as God forms my character through this, that I allow him to use it to bless others - to point them to the servant king.

As I write this, it sounds all sewn up and like a good conclusion. But I am a work in progress. I know that I will lose my cool again, will get frustrated again, but I hope I come out more humble at the other end...