Thursday, June 21, 2012
Quote of the Day: If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive. - Mother Teresa
From the first day we arrived back in 2005, there have been church members who wanted us to give them money. Not for any particular reason except that we were Americans and therefore millionaires and should give them money. We had to explain over and over that we had no money just to give to people but were willing to help with projects and school fees and mosquito nets, etc. If we had a seminar that would teach them things, they wanted to be paid for attending, paid for food, paid for transportation, and receive additional funds for their families. We stuck to our guns (not much else we could do--since we weren't millionaires) and little by little they began to understand. Now the churches will start a project, raise the money to get it going, and then come to us for help finishing it or expanding it. That is how it should be. There have always been a few who have been angry all these years for not giving them money. They have said bad things about us in the church and in the town. They have made complaints to immigration and other government agencies that we have had to deal with. We forgave them, of course, because they were just reacting to their previous interactions with other missionaries who did give them money every month that they had been living on. One by one, they have left the church, in some cases have been ejected from the church, and have had some serious medical things happen to them (blindness, diabetic amputations, etc.), but in every case we have still tried to help only to have our help refused. It is the hardest thing to live with, knowing that we forgave them but that they would not forgive us. Still, we have to forgive no matter what for as Christ said, "If you cannot forgive, then your heavenly Father cannot forgive you." Forgiveness frees you and makes you a better person as you know if you have forgiven. Not to forgive, to resent, is like Carrie Fisher says, "It's like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Forgiveness brings peace, period.