March 26, 2012

Stickers from the Bus

About a week ago, we were invited to a birthday party at a friend's house a few towns over.  Her little boy was turning 8, but it was more an opportunity to see old friends and catch up.  This was the same night as a church youth activity, so Ken decided to take the girls to that and I went to the birthday party.  Our neighbors were also going, so we all piled in together for a 2-hour tour of 3 different buses.  I will spare you the details of navigating the buses of Paraguay on my crutches, but let's just say I may not do that again for a long while.  

While on the first (practically empty--phwew!) bus, I noticed these stickers on the front window, just in front of the driver.  Before you check them out, let me explain a bit.  Bus drivers have a nasty reputation of being womanizers here, more so than the reputation that Paraguayan men in general have.  Often, the drivers stop off in certain towns and their "special gal" climbs into a "special seat" beside the driver, where she serves him terere (cold tea) until his next break.  I'll leave the rest to your imagination.  So nestled between the sticker that says, "Driver's Prayer," the silhouette of Jesus with his crown of thorns, and another sticker that says, "I drive but Jesus guides me," is the one depicting the driver with his terere gal.  It says, "A married bus driver doesn't exist."  

I kindly asked this driver if I could take the picture as I got off the bus, but I didn't explain to him how it sums up a problem we struggle with here--that of one's relationship with God not really having an effect on the behaviors of his everyday life.  The sad reality is that what we find is a culture very steeped in traditional God-worship in the form of outward religion, but no real heart change.  Somehow, no matter the topic, our teaching here always seems to wrap back around to the need for a heart change, the need to be in a relationship with God that changes who we are from the inside out.

Another sad thing that caught my eye this week happened just a few miles from us.  For those of you who share this blog with your children, you may want to pre-read this one before sharing it at the dinner table.  A 15-year-old boy's friend dismembered and buried him.  The arrested 19-year-old young man says he didn't actually murder his friend, but that his lifelong buddy appeared at his house injured.  He showed where someone had hit him in the head, spent the night, and died within a few hours.  The older guy then found that his younger friend had been shot once and stabbed numerous times, and was pretty freaked out about having the dead body in his own home.  So what did he do?  He took the body apart, put it in a few trash bags, and buried him friend in the backyard.  Who knows how much of the story is true, but it's a little freaky that this happened so close to us and that we have passed that neighborhood a trillion times.  Stories like this renew our passion to work with the youth here and keep them off the streets, showing them a better way to live--God's way.  What a tragic end to this young man's life.  Lord, give us strength and wisdom to minister to these people.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wanna leave a comment? Be nice, please, and if you can't, at least leave your email address...