Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FACES

The past week and a half, I was in Thailand, coaching someone who was leading a training (pretty much 7am to 6:30pm). On the weekend, and in the evenings, I got to spend time with my aunt and cousin who were able to visit. It was so nice to be with family!!

It was a busy time, but refreshing in its own way. I got eat things like salad, grilled chicken, lasagna, watermelon fruit shake... Basically everything besides rice and beans (my staple here in Pan town)! My last meal before returning was pizza hut pizza, and coke. Wow.

The little things in life are really not so little. It was glorious! It’s funny, someone asked me what there was to do in Thailand, and what I was most looking forward to. I very quickly replied, “the food!” And I did enjoy it, that’s for sure!

Anyway, besides the food, there were other grand luxuries like electricity, air conditioning, clean water, hot water (well, just water in general was nice), fitted sheets that stayed on the bed when you got up, people who spoke my language fluently, internet that worked most of the time, freedom (being able to rent a motorbike and not depend on everyone else for everything), no termites, fewer mosquitoes, etc, etc. The list is endless.

I have to admit, when it came time to leave, I wasn’t really looking forward to coming back to Pan town. I had three flights to get back to Pan town. Each time I boarded the plane, I thought about turning around, and just staying where I was. “Pretty much anywhere is better than there (Pan town),” I thought.

I knew I had to go, but everything inside of me said “no.” But then, one time as I walked down the elevated hallway to board the plan, faces began to appear. Manny’s face. And Sam’s. Some of the other team member’s faces with whom I’ve worked. Their smiles, their dedication, their willingness to press on. Then, slowly, people began to appear behind them. Men, women, children. Lots and lots of people. They were standing there, looking at me, clearly without a clue as to who their Creator is. It was like they were asking the question, “Are you coming to tell us, or not?”

My eyes filled with tears because I knew the harsh realities of life I’d be facing in Pan Town, but in spite of that, my pace quickened toward the plane. I might not desire to go back. But I had to. It may be that at some point, the story-tellers can lead their people in the right Path and there is will be no need for me, but there is still a little more work to be done to get to that point. They still need me here for a little while longer. And perhaps in some way, I need them too.

I can’t back out now.

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