Perhaps my saddened mood is because I am missing my family. As Promise begins her first holiday season, I am homesick, lonely, and too busy to be so. More than this, I am rather discouraged. I am fighting another battle with culture fatigue. Tim fights it more often than I do, but this particular culture point has got me itching to go home....
Remember Cherry? My continuity still hasn't delivered and I am supposed to see her tomorrow (hence what the eggs were for). I gave her money for a urine analysis, which she has not performed, yet, and though I questioned whether to give her money for the taxi fare and UA, I felt as though her safety and the care of the baby were more important than trying to keep my distance from her. You see, here in the Phils, if you're white and you give money for ANY reason, you become an automatic target saying, "PLEASE, take advantage of me!"
I have come into contact with this before with patients (even to those I hadn't given anything!) and those who said they were my "friend", but I was hoping that Cherry would remove my growing cynicism....I had hoped that by providing exactly what she needed for a safe delivery, that it would encourage her to follow my instructions and take better care of herself and her baby. Alas, all it seemed to do, once again, was to create a relationship where I am the giver and she is the taker. And so she is entitled to any wealth I have because I am a white missionary and I have all the money in the world....for this white midwife, money grows on trees, right?
Can you feel my sarcasm? Yes, I have more than she does...by the grace of God's provision...not by my ability to generate or steal wealth. Yes, this time Cherry needed money and promised to pay me back in one year when her sister returns from Hong Kong. Gosh. Sometimes the plea for money is laced with flowery language saying how much I am needed. Other times it is full of manipulating sob stories that may or may not be true (often they are not). Tim usually plays my compass and keeps me from draining the bank account and giving it over to them. However, what confuses me is why not go to a family member or friend..? Why go to the white midwife volunteering in a clinic that you've known for only a month?
Please don't misunderstand me. I am not a Scrooge and though Tim and I are frugal, we are very generous with our finances. We love to give and wish we had MORE money to give.... We are just very choosy on how and to whom we give. After all, it really isn't our money we're using...it's YOURS!
This situation comes after two weeks of apparent stealing at the clinic. Yes, despite our charitable presence in the community, our white midwives of the orange house next to the clinic were the victims of a break-and-enter theft....again. It is assumed that because we are white, if something is stolen from us, we have unlimited money to repurchase the item so that it can be stolen again and again....however, most of the ladies I know are on very tight budgets.
Giving my time, energy, advice, possessions, what little money we have and the better parts of my mind doesn't seem to be good enough....they need more or ALL my money....it's never good enough...it makes it really hard to feel as though I am making a difference or being a blessing. I guess that's where I have to relinquish my desires and expectations to the Lord...again. I guess that's why it's so important to stay listening to the Holy Spirit to make sure I am being a good steward of the resources He has given me.
But I have to say...it really sucks to be taken advantage of...to feel like the only reason someone wants to be around you or texts you is because they want money...that flattery and a good sob story will generate all the income they want. And that if you don't provide, you're just a selfish, rich white lady who buys expensive perfume and spends all day in a salon....or so it appears....it just so happens that my last haircut cost me $3. And it looks like it, too.
Unfortunately, these events have created a cynicism that has built a wall up in me so that I don't allow any Filipina too close...I hesitate to invite them to my house for fear they will see how God has blessed me and assume I have unlimited wealth (the truth is, all that we have has been given to us!).
Now I know there are Filipinos out there that are different... Just a few posts ago, we talked about our trustworthy companion, Toti....he's great! But unfortunately, people like him are hard to find. I feel like such a turd for having these feelings and needing to protect myself....thanks for reading my struggle and rant....I know this season will pass
"Oh, Lord, give me grace and forgive me....show me what You see...."