Friday, June 10, 2011

Patience!

From the time I entered into the the process of establishing the Ministry of North Coast Missionary Services here in the D.R.  I knew that patience would be the word of the time!  Right after I was baptized on Feb 4 2007, God placed within me the word..."patience".  I knew then that somehow I must come to embrace this strange but important concept.  Many of us have no time for this...what?   Patience?  Reminds me of a joke I heard when I was young...two buzzards sitting in a tree...one looks at the other and says, "Patience?  Patience my tailfeathers...I'm gonna kill something!"

We understood before we left Canada that the journey was not over, rather, it was just beginning!  Along the way He has allowed us to venture forward, gingerly stepping onto new ground, into new culture, and into new areas of Faith that we have never seen before.  He has allowed us to see with brand new eyes, a world full of danger and pitfalls unlike the ones we were so aware of in Canada.  The comfortable traps of things like shopping in beautiful department stores, you know, like driving on beautifully paved roads with traffic lights, and signs warning of work crews, or even trusting that one gas station works the same as the other...not so in this country!  I get it...all the things we trusted to make us comfortable and "lull us into a false sense of security"  are all thrown out the window here...so far I have found the only things that work the same, (or relatively close) as they did in Canada, are the pens and pencils I brought with me!  I know this sounds like complaining to some of you but please understand...Laura and I see all of this as God's will, understanding this culture will give us tremendous insight on how we are to impact the people here.  We are seeing great progress with all the mission groups we associate with.  We have made ourselves available to all of them to be helpful hands, or minds, or talents as they see fit.  Through this we are making progress in establishing our place within the culture.  This time has given us the room to learn the language...lets go here for a minute...Spanish in the D.R. is like trying to understand a highland Scottie speaking English!  Or for that matter Newfoundlanders speaking to Albertans!  That is how "different"  the Spanish is here from true Spanish!  It is no wonder we need patience!  We are taking language classes weekly now and are trying to communicate with the people everyday.  We are both seeing progress here!  Estamos estudiando Espanol todo el tiempo...esto es muy importante!  God has surely allowed patience to bear fruit with us and the language!  Dios quiere! 
The rest of our days are spent working back and forth between different Mission Groups...either working on a food program with Dominican Ministry, or painting a school with Dominican Advance, to counselling with Servants Heart on business!  We are using our time most effectively and allowing our efforts to be a blessing to these people.  Through our involvement we are seeing God unfold His will for us here...as we adapt to the culture, to the people, to the environment, we will see the culmination of North Coast Missionary Services...in due time...according to His will.
Patience...
Praise God for Patience...and the ability to step forward with growing patience and a mountain of Canadian frustration at the pace of the world around us.  The gringos...(other white folks)  call it "the Manana Syndrome"  or in other words...why do it today when you can do it tomorrow!   Gringos call it this because most of North America and Europe are "task oriented Cultures"  we have to get things done, our pace is frenzied, often in too much of a hurry, bringing stress and worry to our lives.  Most Latin countries are opposite...they are "relationship cultures"...not so much interested in the job or the project but rather the people they are with.  Who they are is much more important than what they do.  Everybody knows everybody and everyone cares...genuinely...about others.  It is not uncommon to be driving along the road and the car infront of you stops right in the road...because he saw someone he knows and has to stop to say hi...right in front of you.  So you can imagine this happening 100 times over...again and again...day in...day out...every day...rain or shine.  Patience...
I hope this little bit of levity has given you pause to smile with us as we continue to plod along this beautiful trail God has laid our before us.  I say plod because to run along this path would be terribly wrong, and we would definitely miss all of the wonderful things He has planned for us on the trail!  I believe in the journey of patience and that God Himself has ordained the time and the order for this ministry to which we have been called.  I ask from each of you as you read this that you continue to enjoy the journey with us as it unfolds...I promise I will try to bring you all up to speed as often as I can.
I pray that all of you can be encouraged by our journey and look to your own lives with a little bit more patience...for truly we could all take a note from the Dominicans and install into our own lives a little less tasking and more relationship.

Dios los Bendiga a todos

Michael and Laura....Patience

"my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  James 1:2-4

1 comment:

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