Culture Shock Chronicles

Journal Entry #51 – Street Workers, you gotta love ’em! But, they tear at your emotions. There are some who are extremely rude and aggressive, like the one’s who always want to clean your windshield. (They tend to test one’s patience). There are also some who are kind and helpful, like those who sell fruit, or newspapers. (They tend to make us smile). Then, there are some that you just don’t know what to do with, like the barefoot woman in the street, carrying a baby, and asking for handouts. This really tugs at the heart strings! After a while, however, I began to notice that the babies never cried whether it was hot, cold, rainy, or dusty. Sadly, we recently learned that many of these babies are drugged so that they will remain docile while the “street mom” works. I write “street mom” because we also learned that some women will “rent” out their babies to make a little money. So, both the mother and the “street mom” use the child in order to appeal to your emotions and get a hand out. Yet, despite all these circumstances, our Lord tells us we must have “agape” love for them – that is, ALL the street workers, which are included in ALL mankind, (Matthew 22:39). The hardest part to learn is that in order to have agape love for someone, we must understand that it is not dependent upon the other person’s actions, circumstances, or relationship to us. It only depends upon our very own “heartset.”

#mission, #paraguay