Plagued By a Piece of Cake

This week Sherri is hosting Fiction Friday for us over at A Candid Thought. Join us there for links to more fun fiction! Also, Cara Putnam is in the author spotlight here this week she's giving away a copy of her new release, A Promise Kept. Be sure to leave a comment on Tuesday's or Wednesday's post to be entered in the drawing.

Now that our Vacation Bible School is over for our church, our eyes are fixed on the upcoming World Changers trip. This year 3 of my kids will going with 60+ others from our church youth department for a week of work. This is a highlight of their year and they're excited!

Throughout the summer many others are going on missions trips, and as you know, missions and missionaries are near-and-dear to my heart. So, for today's Fiction Friday, I'm posting a piece to remind us to pray for those going on missions trips.

Plagued By a Piece of Cake
I'm so excited I can't sleep. Tomorrow we leave on our missions trip and I can't wait. Cindy, my team leader, keeps asking me if I'm sure I want to do this. I keep telling her I love people and new experiences. This is going to be a fabulous two weeks, I just know it.

This place is beautiful! Palm trees line the streets and snow capped mountains are in the distance—just gorgeous! We're spending the night in a dorm that missionary kids live in during the school year and it's not much different than my college dorm. There's even a t.v. in the living room area, and we had meatloaf for supper. I don't see what the big deal was about and why we had to sit through all that orientation. Tomorrow we travel to Chillanes where we'll work on their church. This is going to be a piece of cake.

I thought we were going to die on the bus ride here! The driver was a madman! He flew around hairpin curves and wove in and out of traffic. He used his horn more than his brakes and he couldn't even stop someplace decent for us to use the restrooms. I have never seen, or smelled, such a disgusting place! The toilets were overflowing, there were no toilet seats, and you had to bring your own tissues in with you. When I started gagging Cindy led me around a hill so I could squat. If I hadn't been so desperate I would've waited for someplace with clean toilets.

It turns out Chillanes is a dirty little town. We're staying in rooms at the school where there's no glass in the windows and no running water: only a smelly outhouse.

When I mentioned the accommodations to Cindy today, she said, “I kept telling you this is how it would be and you kept telling me you could handle it.” She makes me so mad! There's been dirty kids hanging on her, and she acts like she loves the food. At lunch we got potato soup and bread, and supper was a huge plate of rice and beans with some cooked bananas thrown across the top. Of course, Cindy smiled and cleaned her plate. Everyone loves her—I just don't get it. Tomorrow we start work.

I am so tired I don't know how much I'll be able to write.
The work is harder than I thought it would be and people are always nagging me about being too stand-offish. I work hard, but I can't stand the food, and I'm starving. The dirtiness of the everything is just gross, too. I'm glad the kids don't pester me anymore--their sticky, grimy hands give me chills just thinking about them! The adults are better, but they don't try to talk to me anymore, either. I smile at them and say, 'hola', but they just smile and go talk to someone else. I don't get it.

We went to another church today, even higher in the mountains and dirtier than this place. I forgot my candy bars and didn't get to eat anything all day. One of the old ladies there gave me some of those baby bananas. I smiled and said thank you, but I couldn't eat them after seeing her dirty fingernails. I threw them out as soon as I could. Later on she wouldn't even look at me but went and sat near Cindy. Of course Cindy put her arm around the lady and gave her a hug. How can she do that?

I shared a candy bar with one of the cleaner girls today. She laughed and ran off to share it with her friends. I was so weak I stayed in bed almost all day. Two more days here and then we go back to the city to fly home. The other girls are talking about how much they'll miss the people here, but I don't know why. I tried making friends with them, but even tonight they didn't want anything to do with me. And they say I'm standoffish!

Finally! We're back in civilization! I almost ate myself sick at supper. They served hamburgers and nothing ever tasted so good!

The people here are so much cleaner and friendlier. Why couldn't that village be like this? They don't treat me like I have the plague here-- I don't understand why the village people did.

This was great fun to write because I wove bits of real events in with the fiction. Chillanes is a town in Ecuador, although my description here is NOT accurate of the town, but I wanted to use that town name because two of my favorite missionaries live there--they had a profound influence on my life, whether they know it or not, and I love them greatly.

This sort of thing happens quite often on missions trips--unfortunately--but it doesn't have to! Loving people speaks through our actions and crosses all language barriers. I've seen missionaries kill the language but still have a great ministry because of their love for the people. It all comes down to love--God's love in and through us.

Remember to pray for the missionaries you know, as well as those going on missions trips this summer!


  1. I liked this one, Patty! It's a great reminder that being a willing servant is never easy, and wherever our "mission field" is, we have to learn to be thankful even in the hard things. The truth in your story is that the one who was there as a willing servant would be the one who ended up enjoying the trip rather than the one who was only out to enjoy the trip in the first place.

  2. heh heh... Welcome to Nineveh! God has a habit of taking people to places where they are least comfortable.

    You wove a lot of message into a short, entertaining travelogue. :)

  3. The romance wears off pretty quickly!

    Love really does cover a multitude of sins—especially language ones! (lol)

    Thanks for this.

  4. Great message, Peej. I'd have so much trouble getting over my germophobia thing, too, but I can imagine how much lives are touched by loving missionaries. Good reminder, too, to pray for those who go and take the gospel around the world.

  5. This piece is more convicting every time I read it. She missed out on SO much. Wow.

  6. Peejie, I remember this. I enjoyed the touch of humor you infused in this story that convicts all of us. It should be a MUST READ for each member of the planned missions trip.

  7. I remember this one-leaves you with that tickling feeling at the back of your head that something's still not quite right. Great stuff, Peej!


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