Who am I?

My photo
Monrovia, Liberia
I live in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa with my wife and youngest son. We are recently arrived in Liberia where we are serving as missionaries with Evangelical Church Missions working under the Liberia Evangelical Mission. For most of the last thirty years we have served under ECM in Bolivia, South America. We are the happy parents of four children and the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mario Revisited

Back in May I had a post about my relationship with Mario. I shared about how we became acquainted with him when he came to the house looking for help. At the time he was living on the street and being treated for a problem with his foot. Three months later there is more to the story.

When I left off the other post, Mario had found a room to live in and was supposed to be looking for a job. About a month had gone by when he showed up at my door again. (I do not know where his room is except that it is near one of the major markets.) He was looking for help with the rent again. What do I do? He said that he had been to a cookie factory and been asking about work. The secretary told him to come everyday to show the man in charge of hiring that he was serious about working. Also he needed to get his ID card before he could be hired. So I helped him some again wondering if my trust would be rewarded or if I would only be disappointed again.

I don't remember exactly how much time went by but the next time he was at the door he told me that the owner of his room had taken him to get his ID card and that he had then been hired by the cookie factory.

That has been over two months now and Mario, as far as I know, has been working. He also has made his last three rent payments on his own. He is having to learn how to handle money. I suspect he has never had as much as he now has. He does not make a huge amount but it is enough for his needs if he is careful. Also some of his meals are provided by the company and he has been given the opportunity to work extra hours.

There are now two more items that to me are important and perhaps are measures of how well he is taking responsibility for himself. First, the last two times he was here looking for some help he told me that he would pay the money back. He was to have come here the first of August and pay his debt. Our personal policy, as well as the mission policy, is to not make loans. But I decided in this case since Mario was the one insisting that he would pay the money back that I decided to hold him to that. It seemed to me that if he would pay it back it would show that he has really grasped the concept that he needs to be responsible for himself. So far he has not returned. But there is still time. I hope that he eventually will repay the loan (not that I need the money, the loan is about $30) but for his own development.

The other area that concerns me is that as of the last time I saw him he had yet to make any attempt to find and attend a church. Mario has freely acknowledged that it is only by the grace of God that he is still alive. Now he needs to put that gratitude in action by uniting with a local body of christians and working out his salvation, as Paul says. So I will wait, hope and pray that he will come through on both of these accounts. So if you think about it, would you offer prayer in his behalf - not so much that he repays the loan but that he comes to the point of full responsibility for his life and that he finds a church where he can grow in faith and in understanding of how to serve the Lord.