Make it Hurt

Make it Hurt

Here’s a powerful thought from our daughter, Laura. She’s a trooper. “When someone is fearless, when pain isn’t a factor, it’s impossible to break his spirit” – Chuck Liddell. Why are we so quick to alleviate any level of pain or discomfort. At the first sign of a headache, we pop a pill. As soon as we start panting, we slow down. If it’s too much work, we don’t start. If the commitment is inconvenient, we back out. How about we try pushing through any pain or discomfort that in the end will make us stronger or let us feel life as it’s meant to be in that moment. We live in a day where there are plenty of ways to avoid going the extra mile, putting in the extra effort or allowing the pain to work itself out. How about we decide to feel more, do more, try harder, let life hurt us a little. The human spirit and body were designed to bear much more pain than what we are willing to tolerate given the...
Hump Day

Hump Day

Today is Monday, October 19, 2015. It is the halfway mark of our mission – already. Since it’s our preparation day today, it started with a little time to think. As I lay in bed this morning, listening to the “big rains” outside our open window, I was thinking about the things we really miss about home. I started making a list of conveniences and luxuries at home in the Rockies, and how absent they are here…and then the phone rang. It was our friend Sharon, a recent convert who we’ve been helping prepare for a mission by earning money from her garden. She said her uncle was deathly sick, and could we come quickly and transport him to the emergency room at the big hospital? We changed all our plans for the day and dressed in missionary attire, and raced to her nearby village. While two neighbors were carrying the uncle to our truck, and others were putting food and bedding supplies inside to take with us, I thought again, what if we weren’t here to help? That’s when the impact of this hump day hit me the hardest. What if we hadn’t come? What would our life be like on this Monday if we had stayed at home? It is Fall in Utah now, with crisp mornings and colorful foliage on the mountains. We’d have our family nearby, of course, which would be great. Laura would be planning the annual family Halloween party, which is usually epic. We’d have things to do today such as winterize the garden and wrap up the central air conditioner unit before the snows. But what...
Break Dance!

Break Dance!

http://happiestfacesonearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Break-Dance.mp4 Your opinion of the impoverished, war-torn country of Uganda is about to change. See what young adults are doing to celebrate life instead of mourn the past. Come on, let’s dance!...
$52 Burial

$52 Burial

Today at 1:00 PM a man was found dead in his hut in a nearby village. By 8:00 PM his grave was filled in and the burial was over. We got a call at 2:40 from our dear friend Patrick. The deceased was his uncle, whom he loved as his father because his biological father left when he was just three years old. We changed our plans and rushed to assist. The process of burial here in Uganda is beautifully simple. Here’s how: Buy a coffin on the side of the road at a cost of about $20 U.S. Buy some white cloth to wrap the body in, and another to drape the coffin = $22. Pick up sodas and water for the guests = $10. Take the coffin to the family compound in the village and lift the wrapped body in. Dig the grave by hand. Women mourners sit together near the hut. Men sit together nearby. After a short prayer by the local priest, bring the casket to the graveside. The priest prays and sprinkles holy water over the casket and in the open grave. The casket is lowered into the grave using ropes. A song and prayers are given at the graveside. Mourners sprinkle dirt onto the coffin and say farewell. A short service is held while the gravediggers fill in the grave. Our experience with this process was touching. It was wonderful to help Patrick at this difficult time. Using gloved hands, I helped lift the body into the casket and close the lid. I learned what a body feels like after rigor mortis and the smell of death....
The Avatar Life

The Avatar Life

Something has been boiling inside me for over three years now, and it’s got to come out. It has to do with living an avatar life. From my experience as a Church leader and from personal acquaintance, I have known many people whose life focused on living through other people or things. We all do it, to a degree. We attend a football game featuring our team, and we leave the stadium as if we had won or lost the game personally. We also live through books, which is a personal favorite of mine. But the kind of synthetic life I’m concerned with is when we allow our fantasy self to overshadow our real self. I know a Church member who was happily married to a beautiful and devoted woman, having made sacred covenants with God and each other. They had children together, and life moved nicely for a few years after their marriage. But, because of his previous addiction to pornography, he allowed his former self to creep back in. He permitted his lust for pixels on a screen or dots on a page to replace his lovely, breathing, touchable wife. His avatar self traded her in for imaginary lovers who could neither touch nor satisfy. A family friend was hooked on gaming. When his children came for a visit, they would spend hours playing computer games to achieve the next level. Rather than play in the yard, or go on a hike, or bake cookies, they would slay dragons, kill aliens, or knock birds from a wire. And what did he get? Another level, and a divorce. How closely does our Facebook self match our real...