Journal of Riley Ross

I know I don’t have a ton written on my blog so I think I should cut and paste some stuff that I’ve written in the past.  About a year and some change ago, I went down to Progresso, TX, on a “mission” trip.  I just like to say trip because it’s pretty hard for me to call a one week trip, a mission.  I think my rationale why is explained in the writing.  If I’m not the only one that reads this, feel free to leave some kind of comment.  This journal, or gournal as I like to say, was published in the Cooperating Baptist Fellowship quarterly publication in September of 2006 and then on a website called Baptistlife.com.  Out of the five days I guess these were the best three days.  Enjoy:

July 20, 2006

            We finished up today.  It was good to see, in the end how God provides for us when we need it most.  While in need of some experienced carpenters and roofers earlier in the week, God provided for us.  For Aglavena, she now has a roof that doesn’t leak, steps that won’t fail, and walls that won’t howl with the wind.  More than that, she has a greater sense of dignity.  Even with my limited Spanish, I could tell she was proud by her proclamations of, “Que Rico, Que Rico.”-“How Rich.”  It was a moving scene to pray over her and her house.  To see T grab Aglavena by the shoulder and pray in English a prayer that was universal:  a prayer of safety, and of comfort, and of friendship across lines of nationality. I feel like God provided for me a chance to build relationships and to participate in genuine missions.  God willing, I accomplished this.  But, there is a huge part of me that feels like I, Riley Ross, am the one whose life has been enriched from this experience.  I’m glad I’ve been given the opportunity to be a part of such a trip and I am indebted to those who made this trip possible.  Aglavena began to call me RI or Ri-Ri.  She finds it, as do many Hispanic natives, to pronounce and put together R-I-L-E-Y.  I thought that was pretty neat.  The only people that have really addressed me using only my first syllable have been teachers, people that have taught me things.  I’m still digesting this whole experience so I’m not totally sure what God has taught me through Aglavena.  If I was to guess, I’d say that the lesson to be learned would be that I should be more thankful for what I have; it’s the small things that make a big difference; that the relationships we build will have a substantial impact on someone’s life, so cherish the things that God gives us.  T wore a shirt the other day that had a quote from Mother Theresa on it that, paraphrased, says, “If we can learn to love until it hurts, there would be no more hurt.”  Amen

R.E.

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