The Desert Future

I hear of words like ‘compassion fatigue’…. And I have to tell you that the concept nauseates me. That we who have so much can even contemplate tiring of reaching out to those of our human family who have absolutely nothing, is absolutely incomprehensible to my little brain.

~Maithri Goonetilleke – The Soaring Impulse Blog




Cesar does not have enough money to buy  a ‘Swine Flu’ mask, much less new shoes to carry him away from the madness that he was born into. One of the most important living human beings on the face of the earth today lives next door to us. His father’s shade-tree auto body repair shop has dried up, just like 1oo’s of others around our jilted city. His brother earns $4 a day at a U.S. owned maquiladora (factory), but food and clothing, gas and rent do not equate to such a meager salary anywhere in Mexico, and are actually more closely related to what we pay in the states.

Fox News and CNN may tell you to stay away from Mexico, especially from Ciudad Juarez, but if you listen to those fear-sputtering cowards, you may never meet this incredible young man. The future is in the hands of young people like Cesar. And we who have so much are living in one of the most opportune moments in the history of the world; we have the ability to equip them, to lift them up, to bolster their foundations, to unfold hope before them.

I asked Cesar what he would ask President Filepe Calderon if he could sit down and talk with him. He replied, “I would ask Calderon to plant more trees so that when the pollution is bad the trees will clean the air and we can live better.” As Cesar sat and reflected with me, he said, “There are many beautiful things here. And the violence, I don’t want them to kill anymore; I don’t want them to rob like they do, or kidnap little girls and kill them. I don’t want this.”

One of his greatest dreams is for his family to move back to Mexico City (not the U.S. as some may think) so that he can experience  all of the things that his big brother has done there.

Maithri (quote above) goes on to explain that if we were just face to face with people like Cesar and we could, “only see their humility, their dignity, the immensity of their love and kindness in the midst of the deepest sorrow imaginable…” we would no doubt respond towards them, their culture, and their situation out of love and not out of fear.



Thanks to Maithri (pronounced My3) for the use of his powerful and poetic words. Maithri is a radical 28 year old doctor who is standing boldly with the people of Swaziland. Please stop by Maithri’s inspiring blog


7 Responses to “The Desert Future”

  1. Thanks for sharing with us guys! We in the States have a festering wound called complacency, and we need people like you and Maithri to scrub and irrigate it (as painful as it may be). Unfortunately, most people would rather cover it up with a pretty Sesame Street Bandaid.

  2. Thank you, Isaac!! Well said! I’ve been pondering for a few days on how to respond to this post. I started writing a comment that might have not been taken too well by some folks so I erased it. Trust me, I was preaching to the choir. So I ditto what Zeek wrote, 2nd it, stand by it, behind it, agree with it, you know what I mean…

    Love you Mexico kids & Missouri kids more than Dora The Explorer Band-Aids!

  3. Isaac,

    At times (most of the time) I curtail my heart and words for the fear of man. I guess that I tend to feel like I am speaking and writing well beyond my experience and knowledge. So, your words are timely. Thanks for your support and for encouraging the metamorphosis that we are going through.

  4. Misty's Mom Says:

    AAHHH. You have summed up your experience in Juarez in one word –metamorphosis.

    Many of us have been through our own metamorphosis in life. There may be times when we can not even see a light at the end of the tunnel. That is becasue we are not in a tunnel. We are in a cocoon. It can be pitch black in a cocoon. We can even lose sight of any hope at all in a cocoon. We can just plain lose any sight at all.

    BUT –that is when God takes over in our lives –when we have totally lost all control of everything. If at that moment we can truely give it all up to the Lord, step back, and watch him work things out, we will be amazed at the wonderful, awesome creation of God in a life or in a situation. And then we find out that all along God had been creating a most delicate and stunningly colorful butterfly.

    At one of the darkest seasons of my life, the Lord used the concept of metamorphosis to encourage me through the tough days. And he was so faithful to send along butterflies everywhere I went to remind me that he was in the middle of the situation, in the middle of my life, even then.

    Misty and Matt, you are becoming two of God’s most treasured butterflies ever. Just keep your eyes on the creator and never lose sight of the goal –the great things God has planned for you and the transformation that God can make in you and in the life of the Cesars in Juarez and in the rest of Mexico. Even in that colorless neighborhood, that colorless cocoon, Cesar’s little heart beats with a hope for life —a hope for green trees, a hope for color and health. His youthful words spoke so clearly and so loudly. Yes, there is HOPE inside that little cocoon. And there is LIFE inside that cocoon.

    May God use you mightily to tend to the cocoons all around you and reward you with a beautiful garden full of life, full of color, and yes, full of beautiful butterflies who have made it through metamorphosis.

    And then –may all that God has created praise him in concert for he is so worthy.

  5. So True Issac!! love you Matt & Misty for the work that you are doing.

  6. Happy to see you’ve “met” Maithri. Like Simeon in Luke 2, it makes me feel like I’ll be ready be dismissed when my time comes to die because I’ve seen the energy and hope that you two and Maithri and so many, many others (younger than I)–who I’ve been lucky to meet–bring to the world.

  7. B.E.

    You are a refreshing breeze. We miss you. The desert misses you. But I am sure that Iowa is psyched to have you back again,
    YOU have brought us more inspiration and energy than we can adequately describe. Being able to connect to souls that have roots and history, love and connection in the borderland, has been a lifeline to Misty and me. Thank you for shining on us.

    Look forward to seeing you on Border Explorer again!

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