It seems like each day that I am in Bosa I grow closer to God and fall more and more in love with this mission. Everyone has a gift that God intends to use for a specific purpose if we are only willing to take the time to listen. My time in Bucaramanga was that very time of meditation and quite that I needed to discern God's voice. In the short two weeks in Bosa I have gotten to know most of the in's and out's of the children, business side, personalities, needs and pains of this place.
I have found myself serving more as a fellow companion in this mission along side Father Alberto and Mauricio and not just someone to teach English. Although this is still a rocky transition that is going to take patience and time. Monday, Sandra, who is to be the cook while I am away was there. This gave me time to take inventory on what food stuffs we have and make a list of what the mission will need per-month, week and day. I was also able to make out a menu from Monday to Saturday that is nutritionally complete. This included teaching Sandra about how to combine whole grains and legumes to create a complete protein. I was sure to include many of their local favorites. Sandra seems willing to follow the menu and make sure that everyone eats all of their vegetables.
Father Alberto is a bit overly cautious about my work schedule and we are now discussing the fact that when I am there I want to be the one to cook, clean and care for the children so that he doesn't have to pay someone to help. The discussion is still more of him letting me talk and then going ahead with the ideas he previously had in his mind. I am reminded constantly that I must rely upon God for patience. My friend Lucho and I are energized to help Alberto get the mission organized and supplied with the needed resources. While Alberto and Mauricio have the heart and are endearingly idealistic, it will take experience, organization and a dose of reality to see this program to sustainable success. I am really learning what it takes to make a mission successful from the ground up. This is an invaluable experience. I am going to be taking advantage of the resources around me to learn the basics of business that can be applied to missions, such as accounting, negotiation, etc.
Along with the parrish and mission where I work, Alberto is also working with an elderly care home located under his apartment, he has a service mission in another location at 4pm on Saturdays and another location at 7pm on Mondays. The very little time I thought he might have had to at least take a nap and see his family he has covered up in travel and even move work. Mauricio, his brother-in-law, who is Alberto's right hand man has thoughts of moving away to start his own mission. I am trying earnestly to convince the both of them that God calls us to rest one day out of the week. My tactic is just to repeat myself time and again until I am blue in the face and then keep repeating it until they take a day off each week. A sick or burned out priest seven days a week is of no use to anyone but a healthy energized priest six days a week is a recipe for spiritual growth and a prosperous community.
As I get to speak to some of the members of the parish, neighborhood and friends of the mission I am now charging them with homework to help me convince him to rest. Along with the issue of rest is the issue of spreading oneself too thin. With so many other fledgling missions in the work Father Alberto can not put the energy into the mission and parish of Bosa that is needed and if Mauricio decides to jet we would be down an extra pair of eyes and hands. In my opinion both are detrimental to the success of this mission. I am hoping that we can come to an agreement to focus on getting Bosa to be self sustaining before moving on to another project, with the understanding that this will take years.
Monday I was made even more acutely aware of the needs of this area. There is a tiny three/four year old boy who lives in the same building as most of my kids and is beloved by many. Roland absolutely adores him. They were playing and laughing for a good half-hour or hour until all of a sudden the little boy went very quiet and long in the face. Roland brought him over to me and I sat him in my lap and hugged on him. The kids told me that both his parents were working and had left him and his older sister in the street with no lunch. Roland at one point was kind-of playing a game asking him if his father hit him often and hard; it is just so a part of the life here. He had such a despondent look on his face. The kids also told me that he was sick. I carried him into the house with a group of the kids trailing behind to give him a bit of lunch. It is so funny that even when a child is hungary he still doesn't like carrots or tomatoes. After a bit of food and drink and time to warm up to me he started to show off his strong personality leading us into laughter.
This is why this mission is here. If we could get the money we could provide scholarships for such children. No child should be neglected or wonder if anyone in the world cares about him or her. Our eyes have been opened now the responsibility is upon us to act.
Again if you feel called to support a child in this mission or what ever means of financial support, including donating computers (we need at least four), cloths, reading books in Spanish,etc. please write me. There is an official bank account being set up for Bosa through the Episcopal church where 100% will get to where it needs to go.
7 months ago