1 Kings 19:11
"Then a great and powerful breeze tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave."
When you are lying in the heat in a puddle of your own sweat, you grow an all new appreciation for the power of a gentle whisper of a breeze. The first night here, I passed out hitting the bed, exhausted from our 16 hours of travel. I woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, mouth and nose on fire. All I could think was, "what have I gotten myself into"? I thought about waking up Carol and saying "I need to tap out, this is just not going to happen". But instead, I prayed, "Lord, I am your servant, I put all my trust in you!" Opening my eyes, I saw a window in the room covered by a cloth. I moved back the cloth and a gentle breeze came through. After a few minutes, the whole room seemed 10 degrees cooler. God was with me, reminding me that my trust in Him is always well placed in any situation.
What strikes me the most being here is not the differences but the similarities. Sure there is more heat, yes there are less resources and infrastructure, but life is still the same. The young kids still look up to the older ones. The boys are still "too cool for school" and the high schoolers are definitely still high schoolers. We all still need to feel loved, appreciated and meaningful. Even if you don't know a word in common, the most available gift of all is still the most valuable; a smile.