On the mission field, part two ~ new creation


It occurred to me that this young mother didn’t want just anyone to cut her two year old’s hair…she wanted ME! WHAT??? Didn’t she know that I had never cut anyone’s hair, including my own three OS? Didn’t she know I farmed out that service to qualified hands? Where’s a Sports Clips or a Great Clips when you need one?

The mom returned, scissors in hand and I ridiculously asked her what kind of haircut she wanted her daughter to have. This is funny because it wasn’t like I had a variety of coifs from which to choose. That’s when she blew my mind and informed me that the child in front of me with a long, thick ponytail wasn’t a girl ~ this little person was a boy! Huh? And his name was Richard, not Ricardo. Dumbfounded I stood by a dusty boulder in this forsaken village. The pressure was on. My heart pounded faster.

I prayed to Jesus and put the scissors in my hand and began the job. Richard was the best client a stylist as new and inexperienced as I could ever want. So still, so patient, if he only knew who was about to give him his first haircut! At first I just simply cut the long ponytail but as I looked at the precious face before me, something came over me. I felt empowered to do more. The scissors began trimming around Richard’s ears, giving him bangs, the whole works. There was some styling going on! Richard’s mom gathered some of his locks into a plastic bag I as many American moms have done in the past. I don’t believe I cut Richard’s hair. I believe God did.

Then she asked me my name and told me that the first person who cuts a baby’s hair became that child’s godmother. Oh my goodness.

I stood there, astonished and handed the young mama the bottle of shampoo. At long last, the Bumble and Bumble had found its rightful owner. She gave a heartfelt thank you and scooped up Richard. Just before it was time to board the bus and say farewell, this Peruvian mama returned and paraded Richard in front of me. She must have taken him into her simple abode and used the shampoo immediately. There in front of me stood Richard, his hair was freshly washed, wearing a collared shirt looking cute as can be. This child looked like a little boy!

I wonder what my OS is learning and where he is in Guatemala. What are his stories? I can’t wait to know! I’ve learned this and I’m sure he is as well. The Lord can use our simple gifts, our imperfect efforts (which I have in abundance.) This is the power of transformation.

I have another story about shampoo, this time in El Salvador. Do you want to hear it? Tell me your story about transformation, I’d love to hear it!

Being on the mission field, part one


Prior to going to Guatemala, I gave my middle OS a project. A crafting project. Most 14 year old boys don’t really like doing crafts. My 14 year old boy is no exception but with constant prodding on behalf of his mom, my son made these…

Aren’t they pretty? So simple and cheap but I just know that God is going to use that boy and these necklaces in a powerful way. How do I know? Because two years ago I had a similar experience. Not with a craft item but with a simple bottle of shampoo.

In July 2007, I went to Lima, Peru on a mission trip. Prior to leaving my hairstylist, (the one who puts pink highlights in my hair), gave me a big bottle of Bumble and Bumble shampoo to use there. Not for my head, there would be no vanity on this trip, but because we were going to be washing children’s hair. In certain areas of Peru, people can’t even afford shampoo, it is a luxury they often do without. I packed it eagerly curious as to what the Lord had in store.

Weeks later, to my astonishment, I found myself washing children’s hair on a filthy, dirt-covered street. The kids would just line up and with nary a peep, we would pour cold water from a hose on their head. With plastic gloves, I would squirt a dollop of shampoo on their little charcoal black heads and proceed to wash their thick Peruvian hair. We used buckets to rinse the water and their attentive mothers would just look on and act so grateful. It was rather amusing because there were even adult men lining up for our hair washing services but we had to decline and concentrate just on the kids.

It was our last day on the mission field. The big bottle of shampoo I was given had been too cumbersome to lug around for our hair washing projects so I still had it in my possession. I certainly wasn’t going to be taking it back home with me. I trusted it was meant for someone else so I placed big bottle in my backpack determined to give it to someone deserving.

We arrived at an impoverished village. The ramshackle homes spoke of a hard life bereft of most creature comforts. I helped prepare chicken foot (yes, chicken FOOT) soup and served hot chocolate to the scads of children milling about.
Another group washed hair and when we were nearly all done, a mother approached me. Through the help of a translator, she asked me if we cut hair. I knew I didn’t cut hair so I went the easy route and said we didn’t have any scissors. Then she told me, not to worry, she had scissors.

Because I’m so quick on my feet (HA!), I presumed someone could do it and I told this mama we could probably do that. I went inside the bus and asked if anyone cut hair. No one listened to me and then it occurred to me that she wanted ME to cut her child’s hair…something I have never done before, not in my own country and certainly not in South America…

I’ll write another post and tell you what happened next…

June 29th is a curious day


What is up with these kids of mine? They are all gone as of Monday. And what is up with June 29th? This is the second year in the row that I have bid farewell to one of my OS on that blemished day. When I told my boys that I wanted them to be confident, independent people, I wasn’t thinking they were going to take me seriously! When I told them to go where the Lord wanted them, I still hadn’t finished praying specifically that it was just going to be up the street not far away as in West Point or Guatemala! Zheesh!

How come they listen to me about developing into their own person and following the Lord’s leading but these guys can’t seem to remember to pick their clothes up off the floor?? Kids these days…

The house is now empty. Nate has been gone for two weeks at Camp Buckner until 15 July (I wrote it the Army way ~ huah.) He is doing fun things like shooting stuff, sleeping on rocks and other assorted merriment. Ike, my not so little orange-haired, freckle-faced 12 year old left for Crossroads, a Christian summer camp complete with a tummy ache just prior to leaving. Miss me!

And then there’s my middle OS whose journey-bound to Guatemala. Wasn’t I the one who prodded this kid in the fall? “Aaron, you really should go. Aaron, this trip is made for you ~ you’re gonna love it and it will mess with you (in a good way.) Aaron, I’m tellin‘ ya, you really should pray about doing this…” He listened and now look at me. Waa.

This will be Aaron’s first trip overseas and it’s without us! What was I thinking? I truly believe this is where the Lord wants my boy and I am excited to hear about all that he experiences along the way. I know my OS will have a blast as he uses the talents the Lord has given him to minister to the people he encounters but I am admittedly human and already miss him.

We took the OS to the airport yesterday and I think if it had been possible he could have flapped his wings and flown to Miami all by himself. “I’m pumped!” was the frequently heard sentence for the last two days. I hung onto my OS’s neck and once outside my grasp, Aaron strode confidently to the security gates.

Just like his brother on R-Day, Aaron never turned around and ran back into my arms – my open arms that desperately wanted to hold him back but didn’t because it would have been way wrong.

Here is Aaron – June 29th, 2009

This is Nate – June 29th, 2008 ~ This is a picture I can barely look at, oh the anguish and the pride of that day!

Instead, just like his brother last June 29th on R-Day, Aaron moved forward to his destination and never looked back. I guess those are indications that just like his brother, Aaron was ready to leave. Not because he hates his parents or his life but because it is time. That is a good thing, right??? Somebody tell me “Cindy, this is a good thing!”

Three girls going on the same mission trip were flying out on the same flight. It was delayed by four hours and I distinctly recall talking to Aaron and he said he was having fun with his “friends.” They even all sat together on the plane! We spoke to him later that night and he was giggling and having trouble finishing our conversation. Why? He was having fun with his “buddies” already cracking jokes with the fellas on the trip.

The fourth of July is this week but I think June 29th is fast becoming our family’s Independence Day.