Dear friends and family,

I have had quite the weekend. My body is tired but my heart is refreshed.

On Friday morning, Doug Briggs (my doctoring buddy from Project Grace) and I headed to the local orphanage. I was asked to see all of the children in the handicapped unit. With over 30 severely disabled children, I was thankful for Doug's help. We were able to see all the kids and make a basic evaluation. Only two of the children have any verbal skills and only a few can walk. So I was challenged from a pediatric standpoint. But the children are delightful. They are loved and cared for. We were paid amply in hugs and smiles.

Early Sunday morning, I was off again with Dr. Briggs. After almost 4 hours of breath taking scenery and bun busting bus riding, we reached a tiny minority village that has no name. The local brothers and sisters all gathered around and welcomed us. The village is extremely poor with most residents sharing their baked mud homes with their livestock. However, 95% of this village belongs to our heavenly family and in that respect, they are rich indeed.

We joined these brothers and sisters for one of the best Sunday services I have ever stayed awake for, concluding with the Hallelujah chorus in 4 part harmony. We were then given a feast. I will not describe all the dishes for you, but my favorite was the pig liver sausage. Guaranteed to have no preservatives. My stomach and I were already on poor terms before the journey, and no worse after.

We saw patients after lunch. As expected, the children were delightful and remarkably healthy. The kids work hard and have no toys. Yet, they possess a joy that is rare to find.

Both of these environments were emotionally difficult. Engaging in the suffering of those whom society regards as worthless and despised is not my idea of fun. But it is my Father's idea of joy. The lowly ones have so much to offer us. They have a joy that comes only from suffering coupled with hope.

Some people have stated that I go to these places because I have a good heart. How untrue. Rather, going to these hard places is good for my heart. J. Jireh continues to work on my heart to make it like His. He would have my heart be filled with compassion and love for others. He has a lot of work to do on me, but weekends like this certainly are good for my heart.


Answer to last week's extra credit: Daniel was carrying the Lebanese flag, which is of significance since Daniel is 1/4 Lebanese himself.

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