Monday, February 15, 2010

Incarnational ministry vs. guarding testimony

Tonight broke my heart. I was walking downtown to meet some friends for dinner. During this week, there is a festival known as Carnaval. From what I have gathered from friends, it’s a pretty satanic holiday. Many people wear masks and costumes. There are also people that walk around with cow bladders and hit people with them. Other friends have told me that it’s a holiday that consists of lots of drinking and lots of sex. Part of me would like to just go downtown and see it, but I have been told Christians should never be seen at parties like that. my witness would be destroyed in a couple minutes if I was seen there. However, sometimes I wonder if Jesus would be in the park among the people? He would not be getting drunk and having sex, but just loving on people. I know as Christians we are supposed to protect our witness. However, at the same time, wasn’t Jesus constantly ridiculed by the “religious leaders” for being among the sinners? I want to live an encarnational life, but where is the line drawn in protecting your witness. I feel like Jesus redefined those lines. What are your thoughts?

Okay, so to get to the part that broke my heart. As we were walking through the outer part of town, I say one of the boys from the baseball site, Pa’sao. A 9 year old boy like him should never be walking through town, especially with such a crazy party going on that night. I yelled to him and realized he was crying. When I asked him why he said that his dad was drunk and told him to go home. I asked him what he wanted me to do and he asked me to take his dad home. Since we knew that his dad for sure was not going to leave the party, we just invited Pa’sao to come eat with us. He continued to cry throughout dinner. This kind of stuff makes me so mad. A 9 year old boy should not have to be responsible for his father. If you are going to go to a party and get drunk, at least don’t take your child! I love Pa’sao and I often see him at the baseball field at nights always by himself. His parents never know where he is. Pray for Pa’sao and many of the other children who are not cared for like they deserve.

A little shout out to my fam. This week was a bit rough for us because our dog Willow died. I love you guys and miss you oh so much.

My mom and dad come to visit in 3 weeks so that is super excited. Also, one of my best friends from BC comes in 2 weeks! The one and only ASHLEY PAGEL! There is something about when people from home come that really gives me new life. I do not know how to explain, but it reminds me where I come from and who I am (if I have forgotten). Haha. This may make no sense to some and perfect sense to others.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jessica Gives A Beating

As I pulled out of Pinal Quemado, my blood teemed with anger. How could someone in their right mind actually call this 11 year old boy a “pajaro”? (Pajaro translates to bird, but here it also means gay) I decided I could not hold it in and turned my car around to give these guys a piece of my mind.

Let me first give you a bit of background on this story. I work in this community known as Pinal Quemado. I love these kids as if they were my own. I normally just teach the girls, but occasionally if we have extra balls, I allow some of the boys to play. One boy in particular, Kelvin, I have deemed as my assistant. He is eleven and is always really helpful in the practices and jumps in whenever we need an extra person. He is also one of the most faithful attendees to the church. So Viansy and I, and some of the girls from the community and Kelvin were pulling into Pinal Quemado. Some of the older teenagers then yell out as we arrive, “Here comes the pajarito.” I had heard people call Kelvin this in the past, but I did not address the issue. However, Kelvin and I have gotten closer and this particular time, it just got to me. So after the girls got out of the car, I was able to have a good talk with Kelvin. He told me that he really was not gay and that he hated when people said that about him. My heart broke to hear how people had done so much damage to this young boy, just to get a good laugh. I really do believe that is how some people end up gay. Starting from a young age, some boys who have more girlish tendencies or a higher voice are called gay. Little by little, they start to believe it themselves. I am not going to get into a discussion about whether being gay based on life experiences or can happen from birth, I’ll save that for another day. What I do know is that what people say can do serious damage. So, to continue my story, I turned the car around.

I pulled up to the group of guys and in my anger, I was able to explain my frustration of the permanent damage they are doing to these kids. They first started to not look at me and smirk. Then I told them, “you know why none of you cannot look at me right now? Because you know I am right. You are embarrassed and you are too immature to own your actions. Then I started to tear up a bit, but never lost my rage. I told them to please THINK just un chin before they something that could have permanent damage on someone. I got in the car and my heart was on fire as my hands trembled on the steering wheel. I thank God for giving me the words, because normally when I am mad or excited, I talk super fast and even my English gets messed up. So I am thankful for God’s guiding help.

My hope is that little by little, the men in this community will gain a respect for me and the kids to at least not say those things when I am around. Before, when I did not know as much Spanish, I probably did not realize what they were saying to my girls. However, I have really started to understand everything now, GLORIA A DIOS! God is good and he is giving me more and more courage everyday to truly care for my girls as Jesus took care of his children.

Day after note: One of the guys that I talked too went to Kelvin’s school and apologized!!! He said, "I am sorry for what I said and after Jessica gave us a beating, I realized I shouldn't have said that to you, I will never say it again.