It’s 3:30 AM and I can’t sleep. I have these thoughts running through my head and I needed to get up and write them down. It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
My friends and family are in the very frigid, snowy, and icy Northeast of the United States. I tried sending them packages of warm air, but customs wouldn’t let them through. LOL Meanwhile I am ‘suffering’ here in the heat and beautiful blue skies. SO, since I cannot send warm air, I decided to send them some heartwarming moments from my first 3 years here in Panama. These are some of the heart melting highlights of these first few years. I hope you enjoy them and you, too, will feel warm and fuzzy inside. Seriously, some of these were really heart changing moments as well.
Feb. 9th, 2011 I set out on, what has become, a very interesting missionary journey. I hasn’t all been smooth. It hasn’t always been what I expected. But, it ALL has been directed by our awsome God. God has showed me better how to love my neighbors. God has repeatedly reminded me NOT to judge others. God has taken my head knowledge of His provisions and grace and moved it to my heart. We all read and are taught that God will provide. I am here to tell you this is absolutely true! I have experienced His provisions and grace over and over again over the last 3 years.
Enough about me. Now to the special moments. I must warn you, though, reading some of these may cause your eyes to leak.
It melts my heart when a little boy, walking towards me in the Comarca, asks me for a dime ( I don’t make it a habit to give out money) and all I had in my pocket was seven cents. His reply to me was ” God bless you”!
Or how about the time an 11 year old girl on the bus leans over and gives me a kiss on the cheek just because I took the time to make her feel special.
When an unexpected donation comes in, I am ALWAYS grateful and always appreciative. This melts my heart.
It melts your heart when a, somewhat backward, little boy shows up as MY teacher. He was watching me work on a project in the Comarca and began to gently and politely ask me for gifts. First he asked for a balloon. Now, I usually have balloons with me, but not this day. Ten minutes later he asked me for a ball. I reminded him of my first answer that I came to work and didn’t bring any gifts. He seemed to accept that. Later he asked me for a toy truck. My ‘human’ frustration was building. I repeated my previous answer. Finally, he asked me for a dolly. Frustrated and real curious, I blurted back “What does a little boy want with a dolly?’ With that he proceded to quietly tell me ” It is for my little sister.” WOW! Even though he wasn’t going to be able to get a gift for himself, he was still thinking about ‘others’. I felt so bad for beginning to judge him. Thank you God for the little lessons in life that bring me closer to you. Needless to say, when I got back to San Felix I bought everything he had asked for.
God continues to work on me through heart melting moments like this little story. I was on my way back to Chami to spend the night there and ran into 3 small kids. One had a broken sandal, which I couldn’t fix. We talked for a few minutes, no gifts, no money given out. As one of them walked away she turned back to me and melted my heart with these words.” God Bless you!” All I did was take the time to talk to them. How many times is this all we need to do…..MANY!
I feel so loved and accepted when on my way to visit families and the kids come running up the road or across the yard and jump into my outstretched arms for a giant hug. Some New Lifers can vouch for this, as they have seen it happen.
Are you warming up yet?
I makes me especially thankful when a young man calls me long distance and, with a very excited voice, says ” Bob! What you told me about God was true! It’s just like you told me! I gave my life to the Lord and wonderful things are happening!” This is not word for word, but you get the idea. Again, it is NOT about me!!! It is about following what God wants us to do in our respective lives. I am only sharing this ‘God moment’ with you all.
Here is a good one. How about the time Pastor Scott and I were working in the school in Chami and we started singing “How Great Thou Art”. We sang for a while and when we stopped, the song continued….in Spanish….by a couple of teenagers that were sitting there making bracelets. I melted to a puddle. AND… a while later I went over to talk to these teens and the boy says ” Isn’t it wonderful that we can sit here and talk about Jesus.” It just reinforces the fact that God speaks to us in ways and in places and with unsuspecting people. I was so overwhelmed by the experience I could hardly pull myself together to work. Again, so thankfull for the experience.
One day I was sitting on a concrete walkway in a school and a 4 year old girl, that I had never seen before, crawled up in my lap and became my ‘grandchild’
immediately. The grandpop switch worked real fast that day.
God’s word melted my heart about 6 months ago while watching the movie “Courageous”. If you were in a cave and haven’t seen it, it is about being a better dad. It is about dads stepping up to the the leaders of the household. This is something I failed at miserably!. I got myself into a ‘pity party’ mode asking myself “Why didn’t I know this stuff when my children were young? Where was this movie when I so desperately needed it? I don’t think the ‘party’ was going on a full minute when I hear this voice, plain as day. “Bob, what about all those kids in the Comarca? You still have time to be a good father figure to them!” God provides for ALL our needs, ALL the time, WHEN He thinks we are ready. The clarity of His voice was, well, I don’t know how to describe it. Again, very thankful. Again my heart melted because I felt loved by our Lord.
I’m almost finished. But I saved the best for last. In reality, this occured about a year before I became a full time missionary. Some New Lifers and I were walking up the mountain in the Comarca and a little boy was walking toward us. We did not know him. After he passed I stopped him and gave him some school.
supplies. That boy looked up at me with a look that I will NEVER forget. A look that said ” What did I do to deserve this?” A look of almost disbelief that this had just happened. And all I could think of was verse 40, in the book of Mathew, in chapter 25 where it says “When you do to the least of these, you are doing it to me.” Life changing. Faith building. I said that God speaks to us in various ways. I am here to tell you this is TRUE. I am experiencing it firsthand. NOT, because I am anybody special, but because when I surrendered my life to God, it made me available to hear and see his majesty in action. I can’t wait for what is to come!
Moments like these change lives. Moments like these melt hardened hearts. This stuff springboards you through the tougher times. Moments like these really happen! This is not a fairytale. This is real life stuff. ” Again, read the Bible, Mathew 7:7 where it says ” Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find……” I want everyone to ‘re-calculate’ and get in line with Gods’ will for your lives. Knock..he realy does open doors, seek His will for your life NOW, ask and it shall be given unto you. I don’t you all to miss a moment of seeing, hearing and feeling God in action. I remember an old , probably Pennsylvania Dutch, saying that goes like this..” We get too soon old and too late smart”. Isn’t that the truth. At least the ‘too soon old’ part.
Go with God! Remember that ‘go’ is a verb, and means action. It does not usually mean ‘wait till you have time’. Make a positive difference in someone’s life TODAY!
One last ‘moment’ to share with you. Recently I recieved a card from an old, wise man that had a handwritten note inside that said ” If I was young, I would be you.” Most times we don’t even know whose lives we are touching.
Till We Meet Again,
Bobby Mo, Bob, Mr. Bob, Bod, Bots, Bof, Bot, Bos, Boxxi, Senor Bob, Gringo,
Baba, Nitigon, Padre and more.