Life is busy. It seems like all that I ever find myself doing is running everywhere from this place to that place. Finding the quiet moments to just take it all in seem too far and few between. We live in a world of fast paced technology and everything that we could ever want or need is right at our finger tips. How easy is it to simply ask “the Google” as my friends and I have deemed it, a question and within moments we have an answer. How quickly our simplest of requests are gratified and we are in “the know” so to speak. But what about when we are without such said technology? What do we do then? Just a few weeks ago I broke my phone not once but twice. Tragedy..right? ….not exactly. We all know that we need our link to the real world but what about when we don’t have it? Or was it that link we need after all? Maybe by some weird bit of clumsiness (mine being my awe inspiring ability to drop my phone on the concrete) we all can take the time to find the little things in life that make life so much better without that technology.
My dad I have been on several medical mission trips to Honduras together. It did take me five years to finally say yes to going with my dad. Why in the world would anyone want me on their medical mission team? I was not a doctor, nurse, nor was I able to speak Spanish, I was a non medical anything type of girl. As I said yes to the trip, I somehow knew my life was going to be changed for the better. I had no idea by just how much until much later on in my journey.
As my alarm clock went off at midnight to make the three hour drive to Houston to make our flight to San Pedro. I couldn’t shake the feeling of excitement despite being so tired. As I wandered out half asleep to the car with my duffel bags one of medical supplies and one of my own personal belongings I was overcome with the feelings excitement and adventure. I knew I didn’t have a lot to worry about. I was after all going with my dad, along the same team that he went with every year. But what could I expect? I was about to be without all the comforts of home for an entire week. How was I supposed to stay in contact with all of my friends? What if I needed to talk with them? Gasp I was about to be phone less. What, no text messages, internet, or facebook?
The flight was a piece of cake. We had landed and I was ready to see the places my dad had always talked about. Going through customs was not quite as easy but we made it without too much trepidation. We boarded a bus and our team leader went over details of our trip. I had never thought of having to have someone walk us girls back to our hotel. But she was quite adamant that we were to not walk alone. There had never been any real trouble but why ask for trouble. Lesson one of many to not take the little things for granted. We were assigned roommates and given times and places to be. I settled into my seat and watched the scenery pass me by. It was beautiful and inspiring to see all the sights that I had only seen pictures of before. At the same time trash littered the streets. There were people everywhere and dogs galore. My dad gently reminded me to not touch the dogs. My number two lesson of not taking the little things for granted. I was and still am such a dog person. All those sweet dogs and no one loving them.
As the bus pulled into Trinidad a quiet beauty and tranquility was felt everywhere. There was a calmness and breath of a new adventure upon all of us. We were let off at the house we would share meals at for the next five days. Trinidad is small village with some of the most beautiful and caring souls I have ever met. We were given a few hours of free time to explore where we were going to stay and get to know the rest of our team.
Part of the next day was spent setting up our pharmacy and eye clinic, pouring up medicines and taking inventory of everything we had. By the mid afternoon we were set to begin seeing patients. I was put in the pharmacy. My job was to help fill the orders that each doctor had prescribed. So perfect for a girl that was used to taking and making orders in the most efficient way possible.. My dad worked as translator helping to relay instructions per order. A nurse standing nearby to help with anything we didn’t understand. Another thing to be thankful for. Funny isn’t it how God worked that out. My barista skills were a good skill indeed.
I guess one might say that we were the blessing to so many on these trips. I don’t remember the exact number of people that we saw but the sheer look of joy and thankfulness is something that I will never forget. The next five days, were filled with the routine of: meet for breakfast, walk to the church, load up the trucks and head to the hills to set up clinic and help in anyway that we could. Sometimes it wasn’t even something we could do medically to help it, sometimes it was just being there to listen. Clinics were set up in local schools. It, being the coffee season school was not in session at that time. Sometimes someone just wanted to talk to someone, other times it was offering a ride down the mountain when someone had been walking for miles. Lunch times were always the hardest for me. We had so much food, we could have seconds if we wanted them. The folks outside were not so fortunate. They had families of eighteen sometimes and would eat less than we did in day they would probably not see in a week.
One time in particular made a huge impact. We were loading everything up to head back down the mountain before it became too late and unsafe to travel down the mountain in the evening. Like I said there has never been any real trouble but a bunch of gringos riding down the side of a mountain in the dark would have been asking for trouble. We were all so hungry tired and in a hurry to make sure we made it safely down the mountain. Clinic had run long that day and we had been so busy. We had just loaded the last bucket into one of the trucks. We then noticed two men yelling at us. They were carrying a blanket by poles towards us. As they grew closer the blanket had a large amount of visible blood and it carried a young boy in it. They were so thankful we hadn’t left yet. We quickly found out that the boy had been bitten by a pig and was in need of surgery before we could take him down the mountain with us. We all leapt into action, buckets went flying, the table at the school we were at was cleared of everything and cleaned and was prepped as much we could for surgery. Dr. Scott was ready and they sweet boy that looked like he was five (later we found out was eleven and his name was Norman) was even more ready to get the show on the road. They asked me to help hold a light. Two men helped hold him as Dr. Scott worked. The Femoral artery had barely been missed. Norman’s dad had said they had walked for miles to reach us. The had heard that a medical brigade was in town and knew we would be able help. Never before had I been able to be thankful to have been so busy, or for that matter thankful for being late in finishing something. I can’t stand being late. But if we had been able to leave right on time, we would have never been able to help Norman. How thankful I was for being late, How humbled I was for a having a truck to ride down the mountainside in. God’s hand had been upon us and our lateness and for a better purpose than we had originally thought. We brought Norman, and his family down the mountainside with us. He was going to be just fine. Thanks to our being late.
I saw many thing on my yearly trips to Trinidad. But every year I would learn something new. A new sense of gratefulness would be ever present in my day to day life. The simple act of flushing toilet paper was amazing. A roof over my head was so much more important than what I had with me belongings wise under the roof. I had food and a car and that was more than enough to be thankful for. I in-fact felt felt like I had too many material items for myself. What could I do that would make a difference
The sense of belonging, love, and agape love was becoming something to feel and see. I could help be the change. I could also be thankful for clean water to shower and brush my teeth with. Watching people in church in Trinidad inspired me to let go and be more joyful. I knew I could be that care free and full of happiness. I could see their love of God shining in them. It was the little things. A smile, making the most out of any situation, a laugh, grateful tears and a utter appreciation for each little thing we come face to face with each day. Maybe we find it in sunsets, but what about sunrises. Perhaps these little moments are found watching a baby take their first step, a bird flitting across a field, or in the happiness of being with the people you love the most. Here is your challenge: Look for the little things. They are everywhere we just have to be open to seeing them and all of the quiet beauty around us. Smile always, laugh often, lift others up and be the change. Life is beautiful my friends. Look for the good and you will find it. Put the phone down for a bit. Connect with others and take time to listen. Remember it’s the little things.