Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7(NIV)
Just a quick post tonight as it is very late by my time clock and I have been up for more than 22 hours. We left the church at 6:00 this morning headed down the Interstate on the five hour trek to Miami. It is a long haul that I dread each trip, but today, I had something to read so it didn’t seem as long. Once in Miami, we discovered that one of our team members had left her passport on the church copy machine. There are no exceptions to foreign travel. No passport, no ticket. Not even a copy will suffice. So, with many tears, she had to stay in Miami until her parents could retrieve and bring her passport. She will fly down tomorrow, but it will be a growing experience for her as she has never had to do something like that alone. The losses kept coming. Two misplaced passports, fortunately found in a different part of luggage before we boarded the plane, one lost wallet which was thought left in Miami and was fretted over until we arrived in Guatemala and it was located underneath an airplane seat. There was much praying over lost items today and thankfully, God is the God of the lost. Sheep, coins, passports and wallets. And people. Arrival seemed surreal as though I never left, but then, I have been living as an American for four months so where did that time go? Throughout the country we could see changes as a result of last year’s elections including improved roads that made our trip to Antigua much faster and safer. We understand that the new president and his first lady have made eliminating the hunger problem in Guatemala a high priority. What a wonderful thing that would be for these precious children and their families! In the meantime, we are here to serve, but once again, it is a schizophrenic experience. Because the hotel is full of soccer referees here for training, our group was moved to the villa section of the hotel. Emily, my niece, and I are sharing a suite complete with a kitchenette and two separate sleeping areas. I will lay my head on a King sized bed tonight. That head shakes at the strangeness of it all. Missionary life is rough. Well, at least others think so. A good dinner, group time for Spanish practice and getting to know each other and now, after a shower and time on the Internet, I will try to go to sleep to prepare for tomorrow. The first day is always a day to get used to the climate and do some sightseeing. Instead of the coffee plantation and zip lining, we were given the option to go to some Mayan ruins so Emily and I chose that since she says it was on her bucket list. Of course, that made this afraid of heights historian very happy. So, for a time we will live in luxury and be tourists before getting to our real work and the reason I am here. Keep track of us on the Orphan’s Heart blog which is on my blog list. Go to the most recent post and see a picture of my boy, Billy, with his momma. A little lost sheep if there ever was one, but thank God, like the passports, sheep and coins, he’s been found.