I could see the hurt, the pain, the sting of shattered hope; it was staring right at me. And what could I do but stare right back? But there was more: bitterness, distrust, anger, and to a degree – hatred; all focused directly at me and my companions. The drastic and potential violence of the situation was very real, and I didn’t see it. None of us saw it, save for Bellwin. And I thank God for Bellwin every day.
Beyond his duty to translate languages, Bellwin would translate emotion and expression. He would read the feelings of others and explain the situation. And beyond his duty to guide us from point A to point B, Bellwin would guide us from our American customs to the customs of the native people. During our mission trip, he guided us across the bridge of cultural differences. He mentored us to the point that we said what he said, walked where he walked, and even sat when he sat. He was the servant and the master; the role model we were lost without.Walking into that church that day could have been a complete disaster. The poverty stricken village itself was built out over the ocean, away from the mainland, with all accountability to the law thrown out those raggedy, home-made windows. Bellwin instantly sensed that something was wrong, and was able to question and convey the situation to us. The conflicting matter was simple enough to explain in minutes and yet drastic enough to cause an outbreak. Through Bellwin we learned that several weeks prior to our visit a group of Americans had been there, asking for pictures and resources in order to raise money from America for food, clean water, and other life essentials that poverty had denied them. The Americans were able to successfully raise enough money to save the beat down village, but when the time came, they kept it. The funds that were suppose to build their church, attain medicine for their sick, and feed their children never came. I was, and still am enraged by this evil act of selfishness. And yet, news of this event caused me to question myself. Was I much different than those Americans? I began to think of all the money I wasted on useless junk that could be sent to people all over the world in same situations as that village. Through Bellwin I saw a pain that I had never understood, and even more importantly; I felt it.
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