|Getting a lesson in how to get coconuts down|
On Monday nights we had decided that the interns would meet with Brenda to do an intern Bible study. We were still finishing up our book “A Mile in My Shoes,” and this next chapter was on “How to be a Compassionate Christ Follower.” We began by working to define compassion, which Webster defined as “The human quality of understanding another’s suffering and wanting to do something about it.” We were supposed to think of examples in our lives when people have shown compassion for us, and it ended up being one of the best Bible studies I’ve ever been a part of. The book talks about how in order to be compassionate, we must first face and understand our own experiences. If we cannot comprehend our own suffering, then how would we be able to “understand another’s suffering?” But it’s difficult for us as humans brought up in American society to face our suffering. We all act as though we have it all together; we all put on a show. But everyone has garbage, stuff that’s holding them back that they haven’t yet faced. We talked about the lamenting Psalms, and how it is okay to cry out to God, to be mad at God, to question Him. The important thing is to still have faith in Him. To, even in times of despair, think of times in the past when God has been faithful and have faith that God will be faithful in the future, as the lamenting Psalms do. I’d never focused on this aspect of compassion before; I had never really dug deep into what it means to feel compassion, but it is an important idea to understand and be ready to face when you are in the missions field.
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|Emily (left) with the other interns in front of the camp|