No March Madness is pretty maddening. No LeBron on TV. No trips to the gym, TP shortages. There is nothing like a home cooked meal until you can get nothing else because your favorite restaurant is closed.
I miss sitting at a table at Little Bear with a latte pretending to work as if I had a real job or something.
Life as we’ve known it is on hold. One more casualty of the times is that no one from MCC is boarding a plane for Bolivia this month, thanks to the virus.
That means no “airport arrival hugs”, no coffee from Abi’s Café, no Salentas and Jugo con Leche. No late-night dinners of Mondongo or Pique a lo Macho. Most of all, we won’t get to see our friends at Food for the Hungry love their community in the name of Jesus. The team will miss learning about the best ways to serve those who are most vulnerable. Plus, we’ll miss practicing a few new Bolivian dance steps and getting clobbered at soccer by 10-year-old Bolivian kids.
We’ll miss the home visits with sponsored children and visits with members of the community in their homes to pray with them and encourage them.
While the food is amazing and the dancing is fun, it’s the relationships that make a trip to Bolivia. I’ll really miss seeing everyone there and I’m praying the trip is just postponed for a time and we’ll still see them this year.
This crazy time we are living in is a reminder for us that life is more fragile than we think it is. We have much less control over our lives than it seems, though most are driven to exert control.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 says:
“It is better to go to a house of mourning, than to go to a house of feasting.”
Not because God likes to kill the buzz. Its because its easy to be fooled into thinking this life deserves all our time and investment. And, as it feels like it’s all slipping away, we become fearful. Times of mourning and trouble are a reminder that this life is temporary and a better time is coming. A time when friends will never be separated, and no one will ever fear or mourn because of sickness or death again.
There seems to be much to fear right now. Some are losing jobs; others are losing their retirement. Still others are losing their health and even their lives.
Better times are coming. We’ll miss those crazy Bolivians. Someday we’ll never have to say that again.
There is even better news though, God is aware, involved and working right now. In each of our unique situations, with our specific risks, in the face of our fears. He claims to be our Father, our Husband, our Rock, Shield, Counselor, Provider. Right now, today. Better times are coming, but because of Him we are secure today even in uncertainty and loss.
Luke 12:32-34 says:
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We have treasure in Bolivia. Each one has a name and a face. We are blessed to call them friends and co-laborers.