Now the view looks like this.
Carol was home during the earthquake. What is more, she was in their bedroom, which overlooks the ravine. She would tell you her lasting memory is the sound of the buildings behind them breaking up and the people screaming. Their home was fine, only superficial damage, except for their exterior perimeter security wall. It collapsed on all sides, leaving their lot and yard open. Very quickly they had a lot of new neighbors.
The lot next to Tim and Carol's house was empty. Empty space after January 12 was quickly requisitioned by the displaced masses as their new home, and this was no different. Tim said that at his last count, there were 43 tents holding an average of 5 people per tent. They have now stretched tarps over families' tents to block out the sun and the rain.
The most remarkable part to me is that Tim and Carol do all of this in addition to their regular jobs. Carol teaches with us at QCS and Tim is in construction. Carol teaches 5th and 6th grades all day and then comes home and plays with these children. Tim is helping rebuild an orphanage right now and works long, hard hours. But he still has time to walk to his new neighbors' tents and find out how everyone is doing.
I asked them over lunch this past Sunday how they did it all. They shrugged and said that what they were doing around their home was the fun part of being a missionary. Carol said that, when she prayed at night, she thanked God for the opportunity to help these people like she is.
I was really moved by her compassion and grace. I don't know that I would have blamed her if she said, "But some times it is hard." However, her previous sentence came with no qualifying statement afterward. I also do not know if I would hold it against them if immediately after the earthquake they had lamented their lack of privacy, raised questions about their safety or expressed frustration at their new situation. They have not. They have made the most of out of the situation God placed them in.
I wondered after lunch if there were ministry opportunities I was missing because I had a bad attitude. If there was a situation where I was not showing compassion and grace, and justifying it. What about you?
Tomorrow will show all the pictures from inside the ravine community behind my church/ their house....