I remember my first mission trip to the place I now call home.
I don't think my camera left my hand for two weeks.
Everything was new, exciting, different, as far opposite from my own world as could be.
I was enamored by the noises, smells, sounds, faces......the differences.
I wanted to capture it all.
But now that I've lived here over a decade, I'm hesitant to take the camera, to snap the pictures.
These are people, not merchandise.
They have thoughts, feelings, and preferences, just like everybody else.
And while many of them may live in what some consider poverty, they still have pride in how they look and where they live.
When a child gets up in the morning he makes his bed, straightens his room, dresses for school, and eats his breakfast.
And while the bed might be a mat, and the room might be shared with the rest of his family, and the clothes might be his brown and orange school uniform, and his breakfast might be beans, rice, and hot pepper, he's really not much different than you or me.
When a child sets off for school in the morning, he might go by car, school bus, moto, taxi, or tro-tro, but then again, he might go by foot.
He may walk on busy, paved roads, crowded with morning traffic, or he might walk a slippery, dirt path through the plantain trees and corn.
One foot in front of the other......just like everybody else.
When he's extra hungry, he brings the big bowl, hoping mama will fill the whole thing.
When he's cold he wears a jacket, even if it is 75 degrees F.
When he finds creatures to scare the girls at school with, they may be snails or centipedes.
And when he gets new school shoes, they may the coolest shoes he can find.....they might even be green.
I've heard it said that people all over the world are the same.
We are all souls, seeking to be filled.
Oh, our skin tones, languages, and foods may be different.
The way we interact and what we value may not be quite the same.
The roads we walk day-in and day-out may not look alike, but the paths to our hearts?
They're all the same......
they are reached by Love.
This week the whole family got the privilege of going to public school Bible club with Daddy, and then to visit some of our church members afterwards. I hesitated on taking my camera, but in the end, I'm glad I did. Some days a camera lens between myself and the rest of the world helps me count my blessings a little better, see souls a little clearer, and appreciate my life here just a little bit more.