Friday, December 2, 2011

Not a Request for Stuff!

Hello, everyone!  Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while.  We’re in Fiesta mode at the Site, and so I hope you’ll jump over to our Social Work blog to read all the fun goings-on!  (
I’m happy to report that my cold has mostly moved on out – Gracias a Dios!!  Yesterday was December 1, and here in Jarabacoa we had sunshine and temps up near 80.  Gotta say, not minding that at all! 
This morning for breakfast I’ll be enjoying some granola from Grandma’s Pantry in Harrisonburg, VA.  How did I get that tasty treat?  It was part of a wonderful Care Package I received this week from one of the First Pres adult Sunday School classes. 
I’m sure if anyone would have watched me open the box, they would have thought I was a bit cuckoo.  I was smiling and laughing, literally clapping my hands as I pulled out the Grape Nuts (here they cost around $10 a box!). 
Then, I saw the stack of cards… Lots and lots (and lots!) of cards.  I sat on the floor and cried.  I opened one after the other and sniffled as I read their caring and encouraging words.
Since arriving in the DR I’ve received several Care Packages from loving friends back home. I’ve also received cards and letters (and drawings from sweet little ones!).  Each one has been like a big hug, and has blessed me more than I can say. 
It may seem like a bit of Dark Dove Chocolate isn’t a big deal, but it really is!   (Okay, that may be a bad example, because, really, even in the US where I could get Dove whenever I wanted, it’s smooth and delicious chocolately goodness was always a big deal!!) 
No, it’s not so much the ‘stuff’, but the fact that receiving those packages and letters and cards reminds me that I am not here alone. 
I have to admit, I get lonely and discouraged at the overwhelming needs in El Callejon, at my inability to always understand what’s being said, at how tiring just doing simple things can be. 
When it gets to be too much, I re-read one of the cards I’ve received.  Or, I look at the pictures of friends (and their adorable kids!). 
As great as technology is – and believe me, I do love being able to connect through email, facebook, this blog, and more! – there’s something about seeing a hand-written envelope!! 
I just realized this may seem like a major hint for you to send me stuff!  That’s not it, I promise!  Instead, I want to encourage you – and me, too! – to take some time this weekend to write a note to someone.
The Holy Spirit often puts someone on my heart.  To me, this is a prompt to pray for them, but also to send a card.  I’d be lying if I said I always responded.  I wish I did, and I’m trying to do better. 
Because, when I do listen, and do take the time to send a note, I nearly always hear back from the person that the card came at ‘just the right time’.  That’s not because I’m so wonderful, but because the Holy Spirit is!
So, today I am praising God for my delightful Care Packages and cards and pictures, but I’m also praising God for the love and prayers I know accompanied each one.  Thank you, dear friends! 
I am also praying that I slow down and attend to the Holy Spirit’s promptings when He ‘pops’ someone into my head and heart.  I’ve been blessed to be a blessing… may I live that out today!

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