What a pleasant afternoon! On a recent filter trip, we stopped to deliver a filter at a house of an elderly couple living alone on the river with one neighbor within sight. They had lived there for 48 years, had eight children, and still lived independently, both nearing 80 years of age.
They raised sheep! It was so nice talking with them for several hours about many things, including raising sheep and how they began doing so. Of course, those that know me are aware of my "expertise" in this area. They were a unique couple in that they had screens on their windows and a large canary feeder on their front porch (with 20-30 wild canaries constantly bustling about). They loved receiving a filter and stopped everything to talk with us all afternoon. It was one of those opportunities where God shows us where we are to stop and spend some time. While we talked from a deck behind their house, we watched the sheep graze near us. They were funny, intelligent, loved life and loved God.
They told of the region and how when the water rises each year, certain animals migrate to to same islands, leaving them stranded until the water recedes. There’s a crocodile island, a jaguar island, a monkey island, a tapir island, a cutia (small mammal, the size of a big cat) island, etc. The river folks hunt on the islands through the winter (rainy season) and fish during the dry season (when the fish are concentrated within the banks of the rivers).
I don’t know why I continue to be surprised to see people loving life and loving God in such simple, difficult conditions. When I asked her "secret", she said, "Work hard and sleep little." We have the opportunity to meet many different people on these trips. The disposition of those who know Jesus is striking in comparison to those who don’t. Light certainly becomes more clearly defined in dark, difficult environments.
These folks obviously enjoyed our visit and we did, as well. It was nice to be enjoyed.