DSC00903copySome mission trip days lend themselves to many stories and pictures to share. Other days, we need to keep the conversations closer to our hearts because of their sensitive or personal natures, and we need to guard the privacy of those we’ve spoken to.

Today our focus was more on counseling and encouraging. While the day wasn’t busy with activity, we feel like we covered a lot of ground in offering moral and spiritual support, and we continued to learn and grow, too, through these interactions. We also took some time to plan for the next few days (for example, we will be picking up Bibles and books tomorrow morning).

Here’s a personal reflection from Ann-Margret: It’s really, really, really hard to find anything to complain about when you hear other people’s stories, some of them so tragic it hardly seems possible. DSC00908copy

It’s shameful, the stupid issues we bicker about in North America when we have so much to be thankful for, so much comfort, so much freedom, so much stability, so many resources and opportunities. And yet… we waste it all trying to fight for MORE rights, MORE comfort, MORE affluence, MORE recognition. Sigh…

Everyone should spend at least one week in a part of the world that is under some kind of REAL oppression, not oppression we create in our imaginations just to have something to whine about. Spend time with people who don’t have a bathroom in their ramshackle home. Spend time with people who work for five months without seeing a paycheque. Spend time with people who live in -25C weather for 100 consecutive days with only a small space heater. Spend time with people who have been repeatedly beaten almost to the point of death and are still able to speak with gentleness and grace. It definitely puts things into a bit of perspective.