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Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel( 01/23/14)
The Mission Trip
By Karen Locklear
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The second phase of my prison sentence for the crime they cannot prove I committed: In two days I leave Mexico. And when I say Mexico I mean a mission trip. My job will be to do arts and crafts with little kids who donít speak English.
Mom keeps saying this is a ďblessingĒ and I will be serving the Lord AND improving my Spanish.
Went to the mall with Mom for last minute supplies.
Ya know, having your kid practically deported is kind of extreme punishment for an act of retaliation. And again, no one can prove I threw away Feliciaís history project.
I almost cried in the sporting goods store as we picked up sun screen. Itís like they think I did this thing and donít love me anymore.
And they canít prove anything!
Countdown: Fourteen days
Iím on a bus for six hours with a bunch of college kids and Tina, the youth minister, who apparently has instructions to stick to me like glue because Iím the only minor. Great. My mom is now 24.
Countdown: Thirteen Days
This is boring. I have no freedom. And the only fun I have is with the kids and we donít speak the same language.
Countdown: Twelve Days
Busy. And I smell. Did I mention it was hot?
Countdown: Eleven Days
I just realized Iíve read the Bible and prayed every day since I left. And not just ďLord, please donít let me get die of dysenteryĒ, but more like, ďLord, help me keep these kids safeĒ.
Blame my parents: since ďthe incidentĒ, theyíve forced personal quiet time on me in the morning AND in the evening. Iím so prayed up itís ridiculous.
Countdown: Ten Days
We made macaroni necklaces with dry pasta and string. The kids donít understand a word I say to them, but they know how to color noodles quite well.
Countdown: Nine Days
This guy Doug came in from the church building crew and helped the kids paint. He is really cute. Tina glared at me and made sure he knew I was only sixteen.
I have no idea what my parents told Tina, but Iíll have to thank them later. Yes, Iím being sarcastic.
Countdown: Eight Days
I have a heat rash on my butt. That is all.
Countdown: Seven Days
I miss Mom. Maybe because yesterday one of the kids came to art without shoes. How could his mother not send him in shoes?
And then it occurred to me he might not have any.
Countdown: Six Days
More fun with art. I sent Doug to the village to buy Miguel a pair of shoes. They arenít good shoes by any stretch, but they are shoes nonetheless.
So no reason to worry about being mugged in town: Iím broke.
Countdown: Five Days
At chapel this evening the minister discussed what God said to Cain, after he gave Him a dud offering: ďBut if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over itĒ.
I had my reasons for chunking Feliciaís history project, but it was wrong. I have to own up. Maybe not to Felecia, but at least to God.
Countdown: Four Days
Tina said she was glad I came on the trip with her. I didnít say it, but Iím kind of glad I did, too.
Countdown: Three Days
Doug teased me about being miserable and said something about a light at the end of the tunnel. Not sure what this means, but I am totally ready for home.
Countdown: Two days
Iíll miss the kids. What I am doing matters. I think I understand Jesus now: His whole mission had to do with helping people who thought they couldnít help themselves. He didnít judge them. He loved them. And loving them feels so much better than judging them anyway.
Even if we all really stink.
I cried on the bus home. Maybe it was because little Pilar gave me a necklace made of macaroni noodles colored with marker. Iíll keep it forever.
Will I do this next summer? Iíd like that. But Iím telling my parents I almost died and was kidnapped by black market organ harvesters.
If I change too much, theyíd be worried.
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