Thursday, January 8, 2015


When you are in a third world country, your plans have to be flexible. When that country is in political turmoil, uncertainty becomes the plan. Originally we had planned to get out to some of the villages and see what God has been doing through the lives of some missionaries to transform the lives of rural Bangladesh people, but God had other plans.

I have remarked a few times on traffic on social media, and it is really something that needs to be experienced to understand. Like a well rehearsed ballet, it is clear that there are rules to the road and to using your horn, and that I understand very little of what is really happening. We alternated between open road and Highway speeds to absolutely gridlock numerous times. Interspersed with the vehicles, regardless of their speed are pedestrians wandering through traffic like a game of frogger.

One such incident stands out in my mind as a teenage girl was crossing at a particularly unfortunate portion of road where traffic had sped up to nearly 60 kms/hour. The first BBCF van races past her like any other pedestrian, but a car was close behind. He honked and moved slightly, but had she not quickly scooted forward and moved her hips out of the way, we would have witnessed as very serious accident. It was close enough that her sari clearly moved as it brushed the side of the vehicle. Suddenly cross walks make infinitely more sense.

Once we landed in Jessore, we hopped onto Auto Rickshaws to get to the hotel. I shimmied onto the front with a driver, half my body hanging off as I balanced on the seat, hanging onto a grip and pointing my camera for pictures. What fun is life if you aren't living it on the edge?

The afternoon was spent wanting through the streets as we meandered our way towards the Anglican Trades School in the town. It was on this journey that the beauty of the Bangladesh people really shone. As westerners, we can quickly judge a book by its cover. Poor health care and hygiene, dirty streets and loose garbage are all things that categorize Bangladesh. But underneath the surface is something worth so much more.

In the middle of a residential area was a dirt clearing, ringed with pieces of garbage. In spite of the dirtiness, there were shouts of joy coming from this field as boys engaged in a rowdy game of cricket. Their personalities shine through as they laughed at one another and communicated.

Even as we shuffled through the bustling streets, a character began to appear. We stared and took in the people in their natural environment, but even more importantly for us... They took us in. Westerners, wanting the streets.

I had the privilege of photographing some beautiful people, and without fail their faces lit up as I showed them what they looked like through my lens.

God taught me something today. I have garbage in my life, things that are repulsive, smelly, downright repugnant. Yet under that surface that most would write off and reject, He sees the beauty. The personality that He designed and loves.

Even more importantly, I often fail to see that potential in myself. I'm stuck in my routines and shortcomings. It takes God's touch. Coming along and showing me what I look like through his lens to really draw me out of my shell and shine.

Tomorrow we head into the villages, and I have the privilege of sharing God's Word. Your prayers are appreciated as I am so inadequate, but God is more than enough. As I listen, I pray that He will speak.

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