Hello everyone! When we last saw Kylie, she was about to embark on an adventure she was pretty unsure about. And today we get to read more about that adventure . . .
An hour and a half later the humid, Brazilian afternoon was sliding to a close. And so was the distribution of supplies. In the village plaza, the central part of the town, the people had met together and each family had taken the supplies that they needed.
Kylie learned that Arnold had first visited the village several years before. While they had plenty of food, they had little clean water. And despite their hard work fishing, building their homes, and caring for each other, they had constant disease from mosquitoes and dirty water. With the missionaries help, they learned to boil water and use mosquito nets. The people quickly put the gifts to good use and thrived like never before in their Amazon home.
It had been a long hour and a half as Kylie helped the men and women find what they needed in the boxes that she and Arnold had flown in. But it was definitely worth it. The adults went away encouraged by the missionaries care. The children’s favorite part was a box of candy that Sandra had sent. They grasped their treats delightedly and ran around trading with each other and delighting in the sight, tastes, and smells of the wonderful thing called candy!
And then at last they were done. Even the boxes, most cardboard, were taken by the villagers to be used in someway. And Arnold and Kylie were led to the houses where they would be staying. Arnold stayed with Benjamin, who had been his friend for years. But Kylie stayed with Alicia and her growing little family.
“Kylie.” Arnold called. “Meet us at the river soon. Benjamin said he’d take us for a ride after we passed out supplies!”
“Oh, right.” Kylie nodded. Once again she remembered what the busy work had made her forget. She was about to venture out onto the Amazon River! The thought of letting fear get the best of her determined Kylie that she would go out on that boat. But then again, she wasn’t going to mind much if something happened to delay her!
“What can I do to help?” Kylie wondered as she and Alicia, who was carrying her baby, Antonio, entered Alicia’s house.
“Nothing.” Alicia grinned as she let go of her five year old daughter’s hand. “Gabriela and Antonio need naps and I don’t need to prepare supper yet. And I know you are planning on a boat ride!” Her contagious grin brightened the room. “Go on, my friend, you will love it!”
“Well.” Kylie sighed, then nodded. “I am going to put my hair up! I am tired of it not being in a pony tail!”
Five minutes later Kylie found herself on the edge of the mighty Amazon River. She saw Benjamin and Arnold already in a small canoe a little ways off shore. She stepped up to the brown water, watching as it gently lapped at her tennis shoes. The world seemed to move like her uneasy heart beats. The leaves scratched at one another, the village behind her murmured as if unable to be silent, and the air hummed with the wings of a thousand hidden insects.
“There you are, Kylie!” Arnold called as the boat headed toward shore. “We wondered if you were coming!”
“Yes . . . I was!” Kylie called back and tried to smile at the great, brown horizon of the river. It’s width, 15 miles to the other side, was farther across than she could see. But her smile was a tight one. Instead she felt her heart shudder as the tiny boat made it’s way toward her.
“¡Buenas tardes!” Señor Benjamin greeted. “Welcome aboard.”
“Gracias.” Kylie smiled her thank you though her heart was beating wildly.
“Here.” Arnold stepped out of the boat and grabbed her hand. “It’s wobbly.”
Kylie grinned. “Like a plane?”
“Worse.” He noted, as she held tightly to his hand and snatched the boat with her other hand. The little boat swayed side to side in a dangerous way as Kylie clambered in uncertainly. Benjamin laughed kindly.
“Have you been in a canoe much?” He wondered.
“Only enough to know that they tip over.” Kylie told him and he laughed again.
“If you don’t do any jumping about, this one won’t tip.” He smiled. “And even it were to tip you would just have to swim a bit and get back in.”
Kylie nodded but the water didn’t scare her, swimming was something she was good enough at. But she didn’t want to think about what she might meet in the depths of the Amazon River. But Benjamin was unconcerned and so was Arnold. The two talked on together in Spanish as Kylie lost herself to English thoughts. Spanish was, after all, her second language.
As Benjamin paddled in sure, steady strokes the river widened and grew or so it seemed. Kylie felt her heart beat as the shore grew smaller. The boat slid smoothly, in perfect harmony with the water around it. The jungle echoed with the calls of a loud group of monkeys, the trees drifted away like melting shadows, and the sky opened up once again. Kylie gazed up at the sky avoiding the river and delighting in the blue above her.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” Arnold broke her thoughts as he and Benjamin gazed at the sky as well.
“So big.” Benjamin noted. “Especially compared to the clutter of jungle vines we normally see!”
Kylie nodded happily. “The sky is so free.” She smiled.
Benjamin beamed. “Like your little airplane, Señorita Kylie?”
“Yes.” She nodded. “The two fit together perfectly.”
“The sky,” Señor Benjamin noted. “reminds me of something my father taught me. The jungle survives from rain and rain comes from the sky. Yet the jungle grows wide and tall and hides the sky from our view. As a boy I thought rain came from the trees, after all they were the tallest things I could see! But I learned it was quite the opposite.”
Kylie and Arnold nodded.
“My father taught me life isn’t always what you see. I saw trees and reasoned that the rain came from them when really it was far greater than that. He said sometimes it’s like we look at life with our eyes half closed. We must learn to open them as wide as we can and really see what’s out there. And you, Arnold,” He stated, turning to his friend. “brought me the final answer. God. He is the only way we can truly open our eyes and see the world.”
Kylie beamed. “Oh. I agree so wholeheartedly.”
She looked around again at the river and the jungle. The thought of snakes and jaguars still made her shiver but as she turned her eyes upward, to the beauty of the sky, she felt peace fill her soul. It seemed as if God, in his on mysterious way, was telling her,
“You see Kylie? You did not plan on being here in this tiny, hollowed-out log, on a great, brown river. But open your eyes, do not view life in your small, un-understanding way. Instead view it through the knowledge that I am so much bigger than you could ever imagine.”
Kylie nodded as she starred at the topaz blue sky, then as she turned her eyes the Amazon she saw it all with new eyes.
Shimmering water glistened in the evening light. Green trees glimmered out colors of life and healthiness. Animals called their happy greetings and birds cheered the world with whistles. The sound of the oar dipping into the water soothed her and the wind, seeping down from the horizon, brushed her face, cooling her after the humid day. A smile lit her dry lips. The Amazon was indeed her unexpected adventure, yet it was also her answer. Like the great, clear raindrops from the sky were to the jungle, so God’s great plans were to her.
They were very good.
In many ways this blog is one of God’s unexpected adventures for me. It wasn’t what I thought it would be and yet by His grace I am seeing more and more how God is always working for my good and for your good too! How is He showing you that He has good plans?
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