Verbalized Hope

I have several new students. This might sound strange in the perilous times we face. However, with the technology available we can still offer classes even when the gathering of groups of students would be at the very least unwise.

One those new students contacted me through a North American friend. He had been working at a restaurant that is unable to continue to operate during the Covid crisis. His English is not bad however he needs to work on his grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation like all of my students. He doesn’t talk much about his family but I am sure that it is a hardship for him to be out of a job.

He comes to class with a youthful joy and boundless enthusiasm that refreshes me every time we work on a lesson. I asked him one time what he hoped to accomplish with our classes. He simply said that he wanted to be ready when the restaurant opened again. He wanted to be better at his job.

I said that his enthusiasm refreshes me. I confess that isn’t always true. It certainly wasn’t true that day.

You have to know that I wasn’t feeling particularly well that day. I had a sinus s headache that has since cleared up, but I wasn’t at my best. I might have smirked at his answer. Not my best moment, but I might have. When you are not feeling as chipper as you would like, throbbing head to boot, hearing a twenty-something wield his glee around like a Fourth of July sparkler is not your first choice in entertainment. I then did something I am not proud of. I tried to steal that joy. I asked, warily, how he even knew if it would ever open again. He said, “Oh, I just know.”

I pondered about that statement.

What is optimism if not verbalized hope.

I know people who always look for the good in any situation. “Always look on the bright side of life”, some would say. But in times past I have known folks who are annoyed by such a cheery outlook. “He is not grounded in reality”, they might retort. “He is so naive”, others might opine.

I think he simply has hope. He simply can see that the new day could bring new challenges, but it could just as easily bring new victories.

We must all remember that fact. History has proven it.

The doom of dark ages were followed by beauty of the Renaissance. The great Spanish flu was followed by the roaring twenties. The depression and WWII was, at least in North America, followed by the baby boom of the 50s and 60s. There are better days ahead. I, as my friend would say, just know it.

We are still feeding people and teaching classes here in Granada. New student requests are coming in faster than I can process them. Which in itself is a cause for optimism.

Please continue to pray for all those who are suffering right now. Thank you for your encouragement throughout this crazy period in history.

We will talk again soon. Dios los bendiga.

Jeff
Growing up on the mission field for most of my youth, I never imagined leaving the U.S. other than to serve on short-term mission trips. But, it was on one of those ministry tours to Granada, Nicaragua, that I fell in love with the Nicaraguan people and Uno Mas Ministries began.

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