Half the Battle

The last post was kind of serious. I hope this one is a little lighter, but maybe still of some value.
When I first went out into the jungle, I took all the things I needed. Shirts, socks, pants, soap, you know, the essentials. Well, an epiphany came upon me that I had not packed any of my boxers. The only boxers being the ones I had on at the time. A glimmer of hope resided in me that Jeremy, my leader, might take me back to get some. Upon asking my fearless leader, he simply replied, ¨man, that sucks.¨ And as I walked away, humbled in defeat, he called back to me adding to his first comment, ¨You know what the G.I Joe saying is…now you know, and knowing is half the battle.¨ He was quite amused at this, which in fact was amusing, but better if it was at the expense of another.
Needless to say, I experienced the jungle commando style (sorry if this offends anyone, not sure why, men used to run naked in the Olympics, maybe not a sound argument). If nothing else, I did learn that I didn´t need my boxers. I survived, and it was actually an experience that helped me realize something. That so many times we depend on so many things that are not necessary. They are comforts or even luxuries, but not having boxers was one less thing to wash and keep up with. It proved to be more efficient.
Knowing is Half the Battle, and we never know until we experience it. Whether that be hardship, suffering, even love. Books don´t suffice, even seeing someone else go through the fire is not enough for us to be able to know what it is like when we are tested. Experience is knowledged.
Some of the things I have eaten have been pig intestines, a pig´s foot that was used during a class on stitching (we don´t get much meat in the jungle, I believe I ate the cartiliage all on that foot), papaya, which is amazing by the way. Our main food usually consisted of rice and an egg or oatmeal for breakfast. We fried many a bananna which surprisingly tasted so close to French fries. I guess when you are hungry it doesn´t matter. I had a piece of Armadillo, and some of the other guys had killed a snake and fried it before I had arrived. I hate that I had missed out.
Walking to my ¨casa¨or house, which was made by my partners, I had to cross over two small creeks, one which was about fifteen feet wide, the other about ten. Our ¨bridges¨were trees cut down and placed over the chasm. Yes, it was a chasm. Shoes proved to be the clumsiest, as I fell many a time, and bruised up my legs pretty well. My pride was hurt worse but fortunately no one saw. It was best to walk barefoot, because that was when one had the most balance. But it also opened up the possibility of any number of things biting or who knows what. I had a ¨piki¨ or some little buglike creature that had made its home in my big toe. I didn´t think much of it, but did wonder why my right foot was missing the same bump. After it turned black I realized something probably should be done, and yeah, I cut it out with my knife. A lot of grossness came out that I won´t detail here, but I believe I got it all and all is well…I hope.
I am sure this is only a taste of what I will experience, the good with the bad, but we must praise Him for both. I have had a lot of fun, and I have enjoyed the fellowship with the guys here. I believe in what our mission is, and to hear from the reports from the other guys´ trips I am greatly encouraged. I hope you guys are encouraged too. I have felt the strength of your prayers and memories of all of you give me much joy and peace. God is faithful, He always is.
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5 Responses to Half the Battle

  1. Matt says:

    Grahamuel.. Man its so good to hear from you. You’ve been on my heart so much man… I’ve been praying daily for u bro. What you are going through truly is encouraging to me man… knowing that you are right where God wants sure is comforting. What also gets me through some rough stretches, when satan attacks, is the fact that there are 40 other ppl just like me whom ive met, that are going through the same things….love u bor, and I can’t wait til u come see me in Ecuador! Walk Worthy Brother…

  2. Uncle Randy says:

    That was a good word about learning how to walk through trials. Books, others, etc. ca’t truly prepare you. Love the boxer story!! It is GREAT to be able to read about all the Lord is doing and teaching in and through your life. Keep the info coming!! It is a great tool for me to share with the congregation here. Your blog reminds me of a great quote from Clarence W. Jones “View your pressures no longer as burdons but as a platform for HIS glorious sufficiency!”Love you Brother

  3. Amanda says:

    i never heard about the bug that made his home in your foot. how did that not come up in coversation. i hear about you forgetting your boxers . . . but not a bug living in your foot??? sheesh. miss seeing ya around. have a great trip. praying for you. see you upon your return.

  4. Chris Smith says:

    Graham, I hope all is well in your world. I thought alot about you when we were in Ecuador, particularly as we drove through the mountains, wondering how you were dealing with everything from terrain to animals. I assume from your boxer story that snakes and monkeys are the least of your worries…It would have to be enlightening, to say the least, to go completely out of your comfort zone and into the world as you have. We are proud of you and look forward to a report upon your return.

  5. David says:

    Hey Graham,Lifting you up too right along with all the others. -From East Asia

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