The Patron Saints of Lost Causes (Anberlin)

The Patron Saints of Lost Causes (Anberlin)

Today is Tuesday morning. Thy Mysterious Writer of this blog sits under a tree at Timbutini Carepoint. The carepoint is slow for the moment – only two Itty Bitties, thus there is time to reflect. Ah, but now the two toddlers are playing around the blogger. There are more practical thoughts to write first.
Yesterday (Monday) was a slow day in the morning. Like today, there were few Itty Bitties in the morning. But this pause did give the team time to talk and hang out with the D-team. These twenty-something men and women are dedicated souls, working for minimal pay, essentially functioning as parents to these children. The D-team makes it to each carepoint approximately once/week. They garner respect from these children and then use that respect to instill character in these children. They notice things: illnesses, black eyes, emotional distress, and generally make a visit to the child’s home when these things come to their attention. To the older-teen children, they serve as role models. Like us, they have good days and bad. Unlike us, in general, they do not have the support system we have to cope with these challenges. They need our prayers.
As the day progressed, more children trickled in. After lunch, we had a short Bible story, given by Norm Cox, about Paul. As school ended, more children arrived. Then we did two things: we handed out new school uniforms and new bookbags. Simple enough – in theory. The Fearless Leader, the Assistant Fearless Leaders, and in fact, every single strung out and exhausted member of the team would like very much for you to know, it is not. By the grace of God, The Mysterious Blogger, along with a few others, managed to miss this event, due to a Heaven-sent home visit, literally. The missionary (Alison) was told to pick two chiidren from among the list of approximately 180. She “randomly” picked the child who’s Special Friend writes this blog. What are the odds of that?
So, the details of The Great Bookbag/Uniform Give-away are a bit jumbled. But it is fair to say that the actions packed scene was downright discombobulated. Upon our return, every single man, woman, child, d-team member, team member, heck, even the chickens, were about to come undone. Please don’t misunderstand. The Fearless Leader and her crack worker bees had the plan down and were ready to go. Apparently, however, the devil entered and stirred up a hornet’s nest of mass confusion. At the end of the event, it left them wondering, “What just happened?” There were a few kids left without the correct uniforms, etc. They were sad. Our team was sad. The children were late leaving for home. This is a problem, because some have to walk a long way and it gets dark early (remember, it’s winter here). Good things do not happen after dark. We know that the details of the children with the wrong items will get worked out in time. As for their safety, we trusted that God knew the steps of each child and would see them home safely.
We ended the day with a meal at a restaurant we had eaten at earlier. The good internet connection there allowed us to upload the wonderful pictures you see on the blog. Our Technical Guru (who, prior to this trip, did not know he/she was a Technical Guru) posted these pictures. We are a strong team. See a job, do a job. As our Techie posted the pictures, he/she could not eat. Let it be known that good, kind, gentle Mandy Flanders took over the very important job of cutting up the meat for Technical Guru, so eating and posting could be done at the same time. Christian Brothers and Sisters, this is funny….but God was in that detail.
Upon arriving back at the hotel, we found that we were spent beyond measure. Many people chose to call it a night, while a few stayed up long enough to communicate to loved ones back home. The night closed rather early, as we slept to gain strength for our last day at the care points.
It is 10:50AM our time, 4:40AM ET. The Go-go’s have arrived to begin preparing lunch for the children. For most, it is the only meal they will eat today. They bring a stick of firewood as their “ticket” for the meal. The children will eat, and clean their bowl, each one, from 3-17.
So, on our last day, allow me a paragraph to reflect. What are we doing here? We are not so much on a mission. We are more pursuing a relationship. While some maintenance work has been done, we are not here to throw up a building and then go away. We know the director of this operation. We know the missionaries. We know these Go-go’s. We know this D-team. And most importantly, we know these children. No, we do not know all their names – most we can’t pronounce. But we know their personaiities and their dreams, hopes, and needs. Warren Baptist & Friends will return here, to do what we can to turn this community around. The progress is most often not tangible. The progress is slow. Like turning the Titanic around, it surely ain’t going to happen overnight. But believing faith tells us we are making a difference. Widows and orphans – they’re not very real, until you look them in the eye. Then God won’t let you look away. We will not stop. We must not.

Scroll to Top