It's no secret that Travis did not want to be a missionary. FMC's director jokes about how he's memorized Travis's essay "Why I Want to Be an FMC Missionary?" Travis's essay was just one line, "I don't want to be an FMC missionary, God wants me to." That was it. Short, simple, and 100% honest. But even though he did not and still does not really want to be a missionary, that does not stop him from doing all of the things God is calling him to do here. And not just "doing" them, but doing them with love---the love of Jesus.
Last week, as we were driving our friends home from the hospital, we passed a man laying in the road full of blood. We weren't sure what had happened or what was going on, but it didn't seem like anyone was stopping to help the man. We circled the block and saw that he was about to get run over by all the traffic passing by. Travis quickly got out and pulled the man to the sidewalk as our friend began to ask the bystanders what happened.
We found out that he was "just" the local drunk and that he had had way too much to drink. He had fallen off the sidewalk and his beer bottle had broken during the fall and had cut up his face. As he tried to stand again, he fell into the road where we saw him. It was the real life Good Samaritan story. His fellow Filipinos were just walking past him ignoring him as he laid there in the road.
Travis tried talking to the man while our friend found some wipes in her bag to clean his wounds. A crowd began to form to see what these "white" people were going to do with the drunk man. One older man knew where the man lived and offered to show us how to get there. So, Travis loaded this very filthy, very drunk, very smelly, and very bloody man into our van to take him home. Unable to understand the older man's Visyan, we parked very far from where we needed to be. But Travis had already unloaded the man when we realized it, and the man was too heavy to load up again. So, they began to practically drag the man back down the street.
Finally, we were shown this little cement path to take. We began to venture down the path into a small little village on the outskirts of town. One that you would never know was even there unless someone took you to it. We kept walking down the path down the hill, and Travis kept stumbling every few steps with this man who couldn't carry his own weight. I followed behind praying that the hundreds of dogs barking at us didn't attack, and listening to my husband talk to this man about God.
I listened as he told the man how much God loved him and wanted to help him. At one point the man mumbled something, and I heard Travis tell him, "I know He loves you, because He sent me to pull you out of the road before you got run over by a car." I was in tears as I followed, watched, and listened. This man who never wanted to be a missionary had become one of the most kind and sincere missionaries that I know.
We finally arrived at the man's house to find his daughter and her child there. We explained what had happened and offered to bring him inside and get him cleaned up. She was too shy and/or too embarrassed to let us in and assured us that she would clean him up. Travis reluctantly turned the man over to his daughter and stepped away, but not before laying his hands on the man and praying for him---for him, his addiction, his health, his daughter, his grandchild, and for all their material and spiritual needs.
We slowly turned and made our way back to the van where I saw Isaac, our oldest son, sitting waiting for us. I had forgotten that he was also with us. He had stayed in the van with our friend's little girl while we tended to the man. As we got in, he wanted to know what had taken us so long. As I retold the story to him, I smiled at the great witness that Travis had just provided not only to this man and to all the by-standers, but to our fourteen year old son.
I used to think that the greatest example Travis could have given our kids was to say "Yes" to missions when he really wanted to say "No." What greater way to teach your kids to follow Christ, then to follow Him into to foreign missions when it's the last thing on Earth you want to do. But these last seven months in missions has shown me that the greatest example he can give our kids is to love the people here like Jesus does---no matter how young, how old, how drunk, how dirty, how smelly, how sick, or how unworthy they seem.
Please pray for this man that Travis's witness will lead him to Jesus's mercy and healing. And for Travis to continue to have the strength he needs to continue to be the missionary God has called him to be. And for the rest of our family to have the courage to follow his missionary example.