The guy who cuts our grass came by to work in our yard this week. We're pretty sure he's not supposed to. But with no work for six weeks now, it's hard to blame him. And that pretty much sums up how most people are handling the shutdown here in La Esperanza now. When this first started, driving through town was like driving through a war-torn ghost town. The silence and still were creepy. Now without the masks, it would be hard to notice anything amiss in town. Vendors are selling on the streets, the open-air markets are at least partially open and the ice cream truck passed our house two or three times this week. Even clothing and party stores have started stocking bottles of water so they can be "essential" and therefore open for business. Let me be clear. It's not that people are trying to rebel against the harsh restrictions. It's that they are desperate. They have a choice to make—work or starve.
A rumor circulated yesterday that the first case of the virus in our region was discovered, though it has not been officially confirmed yet. By late yesterday, you could almost feel tensions rise around the city word got out through Whatsapp and Facebook messages. If true, we would expect additional restrictions and enforcement in the coming days as officials respond to the fear. Our active little city may be returning to a ghost town by next week.
For our part, we're still doing our best to obey the current lockdown orders. We only go out on our designated day. And even then, we only go to the supermarket, bank or pharmacy. We still walk to our neighborhood pulpería (convenience store) every day. But they ran out of ice cream two weeks ago. As our luxury supplies have dwindled, we're getting used to a more basic—and more boring—diet. It feels wasteful to try any new recipes, so we're sticking to the same few tried and true meals day after day. I guess around the world we're all in mourning for what we've lost—ministries, relationship, businesses, date nights, graduations, weddings, church...freedom. And I think it's ok to be sad, frustrated or even try to regain what we little we can once in a while.
I'm laying out all these petty complaints (first-world probs!) now only to better explain the clarity this situation has brought regarding the condition of our hearts. As the lockdown drags on, it's so easy to get bogged down by the little disappointments that we forget how blessed we really are. When every day is the same, it's easy to feel like we've lost our purpose. Isolation makes us feel unwanted or unloved. And I confess that there have been days Steve and I have fallen into these traps. And on those tough days, we have to take a few moments to remember that God is providing for ALL of of our needs and so many of our hearts' desires. On those days—days like today, in fact—we count our blessings.
We have so many generous friends and partners who have donated to our ministry this week, even if its not the work we'd planned.
We have food to eat, including meat and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
We played online games with our son half a world away this week.
We've been able to speak to both of our moms, who are healthy and in good spirits.
Steve actually received a package from the U.S. yesterday.
And our grass is cut!
Oh how He loves us!!!