Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
- TITLE: mission in the barro
By lynn rodgers
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I was beginning to wonder why I’d signed up for the local mission trip. My daily ten minute showers weren’t nearly enough to wash the stink off me. I hadn’t slept in a real bed for three nights. And each apartment complex was more desolate than the last one.
This complex was the worst. The long row of motel rooms turned into homes looked as if they could collapse at any moment. In front there was a long thin asphalt road that should have been repaved years ago. On the other side of the road was a group of five young men that looked as if they’d just gotten out of jail. They had two large Pitt Bulls ready for a fight.
I kept close to Kyle as he knocked on the first door. The door opened a crack. the hefty Hispanic woman saw our Mission Springfield shirts and opened the door all the way.
“Hablas inglés?” I asked if she spoke English and prayed she did.
Most of her reply was gibberish to me. What I did get out of it was she spoke Spanish and only Spanish.
I paused to think of the words. “Café,” I handed her the bag “niños jugar en parque quince minitos,” my Spanish was choppy and bad but it got the message through. She giggled and closed the door. Every home was the same except the last one.
At the last house when I asked the woman who answered the door if she spoke English she called a seven year old girl, Isabella. When she saw our shirts the thin child asked “are we going to play today!?”
I couldn’t help but smile, she was so sweet. “Yes, in fifteen minutes but first you need to give this coffee to your mom.” I handed her a bag and she took it.
“Mama doesn’t live here but I’ll give it to tía Rosa”. She beamed a gappy smile and closed the door.
Isabella was my friend for the whole hour we had to play. During hid and seek she hid with me. I was her partner for elbow tag. And during duck duck goose she picked me. When either of us tired we’d lie in the grass on our backs for a minute. She drank from my water bottle. And she sat on my lap while Adam taught us about David and Goliath. After prayer I took her picture and had someone take one of us together.
I said bye to the other kids with her wrapped around my legs. “Do you have to go?” she asked.
I got down on her level “I don’t want to leave either but we have to eat lunch and play with other kids like you. Maybe we can play tomorrow,” I gave her a hug so big it lifted her off the ground.
“People like you are the reason I came to America with mi tía,” she said with one last hug before running off. Now I honestly didn’t want to leave.
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