Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giving and Receiving the Gifts of God

Morning is always a good time for me to reflect on what has happened recently during our trip. Fruit that drops from the trees in the courtyard of our hotel reminds of the blessings that God has dropped upon us on this pilgrimage. Many times it is easier to notice if we are hit on the head! But the blessings are there whether we notice them or not. Friends are everywhere, if we only take the time to pay attention to the people who attend to us. They care for us more than we realize and we often take them for granted... the waiter who brings us coffee, the cook in the kitchen, the person who cleans the table and dishes, the driver of our bus. God is always taking care of our needs, but we sometimes need to be struck on the head to see it. Does God expect a tip for His service? Perhaps we should all answer that for ourselves. We must say good-by to people we may never meet on earth again. We have much to learn from these people, if only we keep our minds open. Now the hard part will start for me. I must find ways to share what I have learned with the people back home. I will have to put into words what is in my heart. We exchange small gifts with the people of Mision Cristiana who have accompanied us here in Nicaragua. We listen to the dreams they have for the future and we promise to pray for one another. As Rolando, the President of the church, explains how he is going to put into place at the church's next board meeting a structure for praying for us and our country's context, he says: "Silver and gold we don't have, but you can be assured that our faith and solidarity will uphold you." I know that God will keep them in our hearts until we meet again. They have taught me so much and although this is not my first trip to Nicaragua, I still have much to learn from them. We catch our flight at the airport, and head to our next destination... El Salvador. We have not really left these people, they will always be with us.

Jim Piper

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