* Hamburgers with french fries on the burger are good.
* It doesn't matter where you live, 1st grade boys all act the same.
* You don't have to know the language to understand the prayer.
* Skype makes the world a little smaller.
* It is very valuable to have a school teacher on the mission trip with you :o)
The full team was present today almost. One more fell victim to the stomach virus, but has climbed back to normal. We heard bible stories, learned new songs, worked on English and Math and then went swimming. Our days here are not really any different than our days back home. There's a schedule, a rhythm, a pattern. We wake up each day to a rhythm similar to that of the day before. There are people around us who need our presence and people whose presence we also need. There are children to mind, meals to be eaten, lessons to be taught and learned. There are clothes to wash, prayers to be made, news to read and trash to be taken out. The world keeps spinning and days keep passing and whether we live in North America, Asia, Africa . . . we all seek comfort and security for ourselves and our families. We all work hard and savor the moment of falling into bed. We all enjoy a good meal and the conversation surrounding the table. We all skin our knees, lose our keys and walk under the same stars. We share the excitement of a new birth and sadness at losing a loved one. So, our names may sound different and our food may not smell the same. We might not all make our living the same way or have the same driving rules, but . . . there's a little boy in front of me riding his Big Wheel. He's riding it the same way I rode my brother's when I was small. There's a group of boys upstairs playing Jenga - just like you. There were grade school boys calling for attention at the pool - "Look at me!!" just like you once did. So, when a country has a fragile political balance, its neighbor is at war and there are random violent acts, its people feel the way that you might. They experience uncertainty or stress or tragedy the way that you might. So, when you read a news article or hear a radio report of disturbance, you are not far from the people in the midst of that turmoil. They are like you. Their babies cry and toddlers pull at hems of skirts. Know that though there are myriad differences in speech, dress, belief, custom, etc., we share a common Creator, a common Redeemer and a common Sustainer. God's image is present in you. God's image is present in the people of Lebanon. Know that when places like Lebanon really do feel foreign and their circumstances difficult, the people need and want what you need. You already know how to pray for them. We are brothers and sisters - us and them - and it falls on us to pray for their peace. They are family. Thank you to the little boy on the Big Wheel for reminding me.