I sat in the crowded bus wondering where we were headed. The idea of not knowing where you are going becomes a common occurrence when you are on a mission trip, especially when the said person does not speak any Spanish. All I know was I was going to hand out Christmas gifts.

Today was a very special day for me—it was my twentieth birthday. I was out of the teen years forever. As we bustled along, I did not imagine that I would be spending my birthday on the mission field handing out gifts to others. The crowd inside the bus was filled with Mexicans and whites mish -mashed together. The smell of diesel permeated the air. I huddled in my sweat shirt as we passed dirt road, after dirt road with no signs until finally we chugged up a mountain to the top. The scene was breathtaking and sad at the very same time. Homes were clustered together in groups or spread out with barb-wired fences. Since you do not need to pay property tax if you don’t complete your house, the houses were without roofs or without doors. We climbed out and people started running to their fence property with their arms outstretched. I watched in fascination and a little horror at what the children were wearing. They were half-dressed with no shoes on. They were poorer than I had ever seen before. This was not my first time seeing poverty, but it was the first time the Lord showed me something that I never seen before. I walked with my group handing out the candies and little trinkets that I had brought with me. The children were eagerly grabbing the gifts as soon as I produced them. They were used to getting gifts, missionaries had come regularly to them every year. We passed a house and nobody came out. I stopped and stared at the house and saw a lone woman sitting in the door. I walked to the property edge and watched her sitting there.

“Morgan, we need to keep going.” My leader had stopped next to me and was tugging my sleeve.

“Why doesn’t she come and get some gifts?”

Wendy turned her eyes on the girl sitting in the doorway. “I don’t know”

“Can we try to give her a gift?”

Wendy eyed me before turning back to the property.

“I really think we should. I mean, she deserves a gift like everyone else.”

She nodded her head and we began looking for a way onto the property. We found no way in.

There was no entrance, everything was wired shut. I was determined to get over that fence and reach the girl that had not gotten up to receive any gifts. We climbed over the fence and made our way to the girl sitting in the entrance.

She got up and seemed about to walk away.

“Wait!” I cried out. My leader translated the sentence. She started speaking rapid Spanish to the girl.

The girl was no more than fifteen years old. She was pregnant and there was no hope in her eyes. She was surprised that we had made an effort to see her, to give her gifts. She took the gifts hesitantly and backed up slowly. After praying for her, we left her there standing shocked.

I am not sure what an impact I had on that girl’s life. I do know that she did not know what true love was. I am not sure why the property was wired shut. I do know that she changed the way I looked at life—the way I gave gifts. For the first time, I realized that I could show God’s love by giving gifts.

The Coffee Shop

coffee shopWe all like coffee shops. I spend most of my time as a college student drinking coffee in a cool coffee shop. I have my favorites (mocha, pumpkin spice, or espresso) just like you. I was sitting in a coffee shop at school during midterms and I noticed how each student was clutching a coffee cup and either pouring over their books or looking at their boyfriend/girlfriend. I was inspired to write this short description and put it in my journal. I hope that you can relate.

We sat in a middle of the room within a sea of people. We did not look different than the rest of the people sitting around us. The bags underneath our eyes told a story of little to no sleep. Couples sat staring within each others eyes; friends laughed and talked with each other; and people sat looking blankly at the pages in front of them. We all have congregated here for one reason—coffee. Coffee was our life force that kept us moving from day to day, from quiz to quiz, from project to project. All of us were here for a reason, to try to cram more into our tired brain with coffee. The voices rose and fell as the charm of coffee took their effect on the masses. The soft light played on the hair of all the inhabitants.

I leaned my head against my hand and tried to concentrate on the pages in front of me. The words blurred and then refocused. I took a swig of coffee and pulled my hair back before closing the book. Maybe I will study later.

Behind the Scenes of Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennett sat in the living room, listening to her mother prattle on about the upcoming ball.

“You know you need to find a husband, dear Jane. What will we do when your father dies?”

Elizabeth tried to listen without rolling her eyes. How many times had she heard this conversation? Her mother continued oblivious to the fact that her daughters were tuning her out.Pride_&_Prejudice_(2005)_Bennet_sisters_screenshot

“Remember that one guy that was interested in you, my dear Jane. Oh, he wrote such wonderful poems! I wonder what had happened to him.”

“Maybe because we do not have dowry, mother.” Elizabeth pointed out.

Mrs. Bennett ignored Elizabeth’s comment. “You are so beautiful Jane. You will most likely marry the best man.”

At that moment Lydia came into the room and threw herself down on the couch. She sighed loudly. “I am so bored.” She said with a pout on her face. “Mr. King was not in town.

“I am sorry, my dear. I know you were looking forward to seeing Mr. King. Maybe you will see him at the ball?” Mrs. Bennett came over to soothe her daughter’s hair. Lydia looked up brightly and then jumped up.

“Jane, can I borrow that bonnet of yours. You know, the one with the blue ribbon on it?”

“What is wrong with your bonnet, Lydia?” Elizabeth asked impatiently.

Lydia turned her pouting face towards Elizabeth. “It won’t work with what I am wearing.”

“Yes, you can wear it Lydia.” Lydia profusely thanked Jane before running off down the hall.

“Why do you allow her to wear your things, Jane?” Elizabeth asked. “I would not allow her to wear anything of mine.”

“She is young. She needs it more than me.” Jane looked down tiredly at the needlepoint in her lap, “I might never get married. Better to give her the advantages.”

Elizabeth sat without commenting. Would anyone want to marry a girl with a title, but no inheritance?