I thought long about what to title this post. I have rolled these pictures back through my mind–knowing I didn’t take a single picture of this particular event. Thankfully, Missy Schrenker did. Camera posed, she grabbed the shot of life that few see.
There was a good group of us on the village trail that day. Hot temperature, cooled only by the frequent showers from the constant clouds that hovered in the Honduran skies. We had traveled to many houses that day, Marie Walker, our voice to the neighbors had shared her inspiring testimony with all who had ears to hear. Her testimony will be shared in another blog story–this one is about the rice and beans. Mostly.
Bill Wester was our “man leader”–and we were thankful to have his cheerful self with us.
Gang of excited girls and ladies that we were and ON a MISSION. Our hearts were glad to have a part in giving food to hungry lives. We were also glad to be able to give REAL Food–in the form of The Word.
Each of us, in turn had handed over our burden of rice and beans-each packed in 5 lb portions, to the waiting and thankful ladies. When we got to the last house on the road–or the block–in this particular neighbor–now, don’t picture your average suburban neighborhood. Picture instead brown clay dirt roads that have a distinct odor all their own. Muddy valleys in the road, we step over some, go way around others. Piles of animal dung litter the road, and that too, we go around. (I know, you are right now covering your nose.)
As we neared the last house, a woman stepped out on her porch as Maria called a loud, Buenos! The lady said something back as Maria began her chatter of what we were doing in her neighborhood. GIVING gifts of food, and Jesus.
“Has someone already been to your house?”
“We would like to give you rice and beans.”
As we asked the crowd of missionaries, “Who has any rice and beans left”, Mr. Bill spoke up and handed over his bag of red beans. I handed it over to Maria, who in turn, handed it over the fence to the lady–patiently waiting for her gift.
Just as Mr. Bill grabbed his bag of rice he noticed the “secure zipper seal” had become “un-secure”. He cautioned me about it and in the transfer from his hands to mine, about 2 handfuls of rice spilled out onto the ground.
I heard his sharp intake of breath. And his, “Oh no!” At that moment I saw immense sadness in his eyes as realization hit–this was some of her food…now on the ground. This was much more than dropping a piece of candy and snatching it up before the 5 second rule made it “uneatable”. There is no 5 second rule in Honduras. I knew what was about to happen as soon as we walked off.
Mr. Bill’s eyes filled with tears as she was handed the rice, she was cautioned about the zipper seal not working properly, and the girls were making their way onward. As I turned to talk to Mr. Bill, I knew what was going on behind my back. I said to whoever was listening, “don’t turn around”. I didn’t want the lady to be embarrassed at their hunger and need–scooping up rice off of the dirt road…and Mr. Bill was in disbelief of what had just happened.
While I knew what was happening–I knew I couldn’t take a picture–and was not sure I wanted to–but I wanted the memory preserved. I told Mr. Bill, as he was anguishing over the fact that it was “his” bag of rice, I reminded him that “these girls, and each of us, needed to see the level of desperation for food that these people have”. As I thought later to myself, I would most likely do the very same thing were I in those circumstances.
Missy Schrenker had her camera out–and was able to snap the picture. However, the lady saw her and she stopped picking up rice immediately. Another lady joined her in the road, and together they stood guard over the rice, lest some chicken come pecking before they could get it up.
Long after that picture embedded itself in my mind, I was praying for that event to so change the hearts of each one of us–forever.
Spilled gifts. It made me also think of the gifts that we have–some we share with others–some we horde as if there will never be another…
The gifts I’m talking about are our talents. The things God has gifted us with–to share with others and bring Him glory.
I’m not a surgeon…but there were surgeons there that gave their gift away to the needy.
I’m not a medical staff–of any description–but there were countless nurses, and other staff who willingly gave their gift away. It truly IS a gift. Not one I possess—but each of us- have gifts that God has blessed us with– Can you spill some over into the life of another today?
Once you begin…You will find you just can’t stop.
Thank you Mr. Bill Wester, for allowing me to share our story–and I do pray that we all look closely at what we’ve been given…
As my friend, Betty Shoopman says, “It’s not about me”.
© Angie Knight- The Knightly News