Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Clumsy Balancing Act

What would you have done? It was about 9:30 AM this morning and I was in the van with about 6 children heading to pick up more people in Orange Walk on our way to church. We had just crossed over the New River at the toll booth and the road to Guinea Grass was on my left. It's a highway. People go 60 mph when they are not speeding. On the right side of the road, walking in the gravel were two children. One was a toddler... walking upright only because her three and half year old brother was holding her hand. Both had dusty dirty faces that were streaked with tears. I passed them, then turned around and parked in a turn off from the busy highway. Where was the mother? (or father?) I clapped my hands and out-stretched my arms and said come... Buscaremos tu mama. I asked them where they lived. The three year old boy said, he didn't know. They were lost. How did they get lost and start walking on the highway? There are no houses within a quarter mile. There's a town across the street and back in there some, called Tower Hill... but that would be quite a walk and they would have had to cross the highway! Which would not really be possible at their pace. As I picked up the baby I noticed the boy had already wet himself. He must have been so scared. The baby stopped crying as soon as I picked her up and kissed her. The brother was still sobbing. We waited a little bit. Where is the mother? There was no one around. I decided to take them to a social worker, Camy, who lives across the street from me. Camy and I (and the van load of deaf church people) then went to the police. I gave a statement and left the children there with Camy. I didnt want to leave the toddler, she clung to me and cried when I handed her off. What a scary day for them!

I wondered if I did the right thing.

When church was over I asked Camy what happened. She said the mother had called the police because she was frantic that her children were gone from her house. The police went to pick her up and bring her to the station. Their house is a half mile or more from the highway. She said she had gone to buy something at a shop and left the 3 year old in charge. (!) Sigh.
The kids had waited a while for their mom to get back. When they went to find her, they got lost, and scared when they got to the highway. I wonder how long they were walking there. They were so dusty and tear-streaked and lost.

As a result, church started late, but it went well. I have to figure out how to engage the 12, 13, 15 year old boys but the younger ones and older ones were tuned in and involved. Today I had the teen boys do the Bible readings...sprinkled throughout the worship service. They like competition, visual images, don't like to answer questions, like the opportunity to be a "leader" and read a verse. Don't like to sit and listen. They think doing a drama is "for little kids". A few of them have good artistic skills. They have said they want to follow Jesus, but don't like someone telling them what to do or giving them a code to live by. Somewhere in that mix of their likes and dislikes is the key to getting them involved. Does anyone have ideas?

What's the point of the picture at the top of the page? Those are storks (mostly in the trees) and egrets (mostly on the ground).There is also a gray heron in there somewhere because he flew out of the tree just as I snapped the picture.
Often while doing the church pick up and drop-off drive we see interesting wildlife. We ALL like to stop and marvel. We've seen huge turtles (bigger than Jan Hoffer's lazy susan!), a jaguarundi (small jaguar), lots of iguana, snakes, quash (an animal with sort of a fox body and raccoon markings), deer, and today we saw these birds. HUGE birds sitting on the tops of trees near the river. The storks are as big as US farm-raised turkeys. I don't understand why the branches don't bow down to the ground with their weight. Hmmmmm. Interesting!

There's got to be a Biblical application in there somewhere.
Maybe the birds and I have this in common: we are both clumsily balancing our lives on the top of "precarious places", where the view is definitely never dull, doing our best, knowing the only reason we don't fall off... is God. (smile).

Peace to all



  1. Great job of describing your life, Nancy, and finding biblical applications to everyday life.

  2. As always, I enjoyed your story. I think you did the wisest thing, Nancy. Very good of you to stop for those children and help them find their mother!

  3. Thanks for sharing your inspiring blog with us. I am praying for you and the church there. God bless. K