Being a missionary is just flat out hard sometimes. It's easy to get discouraged, and it takes a long time to see the fruit of your labor. I try to find practical ways to help people, but most of the time, it goes unappreciated and sometimes even scoffed.
A few weeks ago, we had a very hot day. I had the brilliant foresight to bring an icy beverage along, as I knew I'd need hydration! I brought with me that day Crystal Lite lemonade...
As I was waiting at an unshaded bus stop, a weary woman was coming my way. She looked hot, really hot. She stopped to chat with me, but the entire time, I could tell that she was eying my bottle.
Seeing that she needed a cool drink, a passage from Mark came to mind. Mark 9:41 "And anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name, just because you belong to me, will surely be rewarded."
I thought to myself, "this is my chance to finally do something biblical! If I do nothing else of worth in this country, I can offer this woman a cup of 'water'!"
I selflessly handed over the rest of my lemonade, silently patting myself on the back and smiling, thankful the opportunity to practically serve someone in need.
My moment of self-praise was short lived, when the woman's face puckered and she nearly spit out the lemonade and handed it back to me.
"What is this?!!" She exclaimed. "Do you put this in cars??!"
I assured her it was lemonade, but my good deed was not received as I had hoped. So much for that eternal reward.
Luckily, I had another chance... Because I gave my first bottle away to the thirsty woman, I bought another water before returning on the HOT bus ride home. Sitting alone with my thoughts on the bus, I felt a tug on my hair. A little boy, about 2 years old, asked me for my bottle of water. Ah ha! I grinned and gladly gave it away...Redeemed!!
Pro 11:25 Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.