Sunday, June 6, 2010
Once Upon a Time on a Tropical Island
My husband and I work with a campground as part of our ministry in Brazil. It is located in the middle of Latin America's largest manmade reservoir. Getting there from land takes about an hour and a half. Fuel is expensive in Brazil, so many times what accidently gets forgotten at home is just TOO BAD, SO SAD!
The following is an excerpt from a personal diary about a trip to the island that occurred about 5 years ago when we had just moved to the area.
Once I had to spend an entire week on the island with two shirts, one pair of pants, one set of undergarments. My husband and I were responsible for a work team from the States for a week of construction projects out at our island camp. I had to buy all the food, drinks, bread - everything you could possibly need to for a mixed group of Americans and Brazilian workers. I had a very complete list and had purposefully overbought to not run short on anything. I had thought of it all. After we arrived on the island I realized that the suitcases with my family's clothes were missing. They were still in my bedroom back on land.
Thankfully I always keep an extra set of clothes for all the boys and my husband in a locked barrel in our cabin on the island. Sometime about midweek a colleague was coming out to the island. I asked the wife to purchase some underwear and have them sent. They were nice, much nicer than the ones I usually buy for myself. But they were two sizes too small. I tried not to feel like the Grinch with his heart that was several sizes too small, but it was difficult. I was fixing food for a group of ten Americans and about ten Brazilians. It was one of the hottest weeks on record that year. Some of the American men who had come to do construction work at the camp were not happy. They weren’t happy with the purified water system and refused to drink the water. It was hot and so they were getting dehydrated and were thus sick. They drank all the Coca-Cola we had brought and they wanted more. Hence our colleagues back on land were making a special mid-week trip just to bring soft drinks, which is how my colleague managed to send me the two too small drawers. It was a fairly miserable week for me. There were dishes to wash, vegetables to peel, chop, and cook, and underwear that were two sizes too small. I seemed to sink lower and lower as the week went on.
How did I survive? I’m not sure that I did. A few weeks after that is when I went to the hospital for the first time with stomach problems that turned out to be ulcer related!
What verses go with this story?
Rejoice in the Lord always?
Pray without ceasing?
Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God?
The choice is yours. All I know is that at the time I was not very prepared for rejoicing or giving glory or even praying. Thank goodness time does heal many wounds and salty water is very good as well - tears. I think I could handle the same situation much better now, and with hindsight which is always much better than foresight. I learned some lessons. And my stomach is much better these days!
Looking back after all this time and all the other times that things have been left on land and we simply had to do without, I know that I have learned to deal with island camping. I'm thankful for an understanding Saviour that knows our hearts and has helped me to do well in this area of my ministry in Bahia!