Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Al agua, patos!!

Saludos de Mexico! I am currently sitting in a computer lab in Piedras Negras, Mexico where I am working with Constructores Para Cristo for the week. We are building a house for a young family and their two children. In the midst of this experience, I've come to appreciate a few things a lot more:

1- A shower. Let me tell you, after working with building materials in triple digit temperatures, there is nothing better than hopping in the shower at the end of the day

2- Flip flops. Seems simple, right? Well after wearing steel-toed boots all day, it feels absolutely amazing to take them off and give my feet some air.

3- Siesta. I'm a firm believer that this is a fantastic idea. We work until 12:30. Eat lunch and nap until 3:30. Go back to work until 7:30. Then we eat dinner and are done for the night. The next day starts at 5:45! I'll appreciate them for the rest of the week at least!

On the way to Mexico, I spent quite a large amount of time sleeping. I did, however, manage to stay up long enough to read one of the articles in the Sky Mall magazine. I'm not heavy into reading, but this article hooked me in by the picture of the baby orangutan in the picture. The article's subject matter involved the treatment of endangered species by the zoos in America. They said slowly, but surely, the populations are starting to increase for animals on the endangered species list. Despite spending my summer a few blocks from the Philadelphia Zoo, it wasn't that part of the article that caught my attention most.

One section talked about an orangutan that had to be given a C-section during it's pregnancy. Upon the birth of the baby, the mother wanted nothing to do with it. She didn't want to hold it, feed it, or even be near it. How terrible for the baby! I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that it was an 'unnatural' birth, or if there were other factors that played into the behavior of the mother. Rather than let the baby suffer, the employees at the zoo sprang into action. They cared for the young, but not just in any old fashion. One employee would spend time with the baby wearing a suit that simulated the mother's furry exterior. They fed the baby in a similar manner that the mother would have fed the child. Every detail was covered, to the extent of the child falling asleep at night to the recorded sound of it's parents playing in the background.

After a while, the mother changed her tune. She welcomed the child she once disowned. Now they say that it's impossible to separate the two of them.

The parallels with this story and our Christian walk are pretty plain to see. There are people, friends and family, that reject the idea of Christ and want nothing to do with him. It would be easy to just give up on these people and let them fall through the cracks. As Christians, however, we're called to a higher standard. We are called to show people what Jesus's love is all about, similar to how the zoo employees showed the newborn orangutan the love it needed to survive. Through prayer and persistance, anyone is capable of seeing the Light and changing their ways. The mother eventually saw her child as worthwhile and embraced it. How awesome would it be to have those 'orangutans' in our lives do the same thing with a relationship Jesus?

The title of this blog is Spanish for 'To the water, ducks!' It's a phrase used around here to encourage the mission team to get to work. We all know people like the mother orangutan in our lives. It's about time we started reflecting Christ and letting our actions speak louder than our words. Al agua, patos!!

-Tim, CSM Philly City Host Summer 2008

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