Monday, April 24, 2006

Hanging Out

Hanging out…just plain old hanging out usually isn’t too productive…by most definitions of productive. It’s interesting then that many of the best and most productive times we’ve had here in Puerto Viejo involve “hanging out”. For example, this past Sunday evening we invited almost 20 people over to our house for Easter. For much of the time, we just hung out, ate and enjoyed each other’s company. I have found that sharing a meal is one of the best ways to get to know people and, for me the other is by going surfing with them.

Anyway, Easter Sunday night we spent a lot of time hanging out and getting to know each other better. It was a very mixed crowd, representing four different cultures and a wide variety of religious backgrounds. One of the guys that came is named Patrick. Patrick is the subject of a book entitled “In Search of Captain Zero” which was written by one of Patrick’s friends that went looking for him several years after Patrick had moved away from Long Island. It’s an interesting book…pretty rough reading in parts due to the language, etc… but I found it really interesting and in some ways, I felt like I knew Patrick before we even met him. Throughout the book, the author recounts various details of his life as he and his buddy Patrick, traveled around the world surfing, running drugs (crazy stories) and avoiding death on numerous occasions. These flashbacks are interspersed with accounts of things that take place along the way as Alan searches for his old friend.

It’s pretty interesting that Patrick is now living in a tent pretty much right in front of our house. This has given us an opportunity to really get to know him. He’s pretty solitary, but he loves kids and dogs and we have both. He also comes by to fill up his water bottles regularly. Well, one day last week, Amy invited him to spend Easter with us and he accepted. That night, he enjoyed the warmth of a family, a good potluck dinner and he also heard the gospel presented in a very straightforward, simple manner. Patrick listened, made some comments from time to time, and really seemed to enjoy himself. I know he’s not a Christian (he’ll happily tell you that himself) but I also know that God loves him very much and wants to change him from the inside out. Figuratively, God’s calling Patrick out of the tent in the woods and into the warmth of a house, with a family that cares about him.

Please pray that we’ll have more opportunities to hang out with Patrick…really getting to know him. Pray that God will work in his life and that he will one day experience everything that God has in store for him…forgiveness, new life, restoration. There’s lots of “Patricks” down here. God willing, we’ll continue to meet them and show them that there is a God who cares for each of them personally.

1 comment:

Bryon Mondok said...

Awesome post, Barrett. The sequel to the story will be: Captain Zero Found. That'll be an exciting read.