I went to a Colegio today. It's sort of like a high school except you don't get a general degree like in the US. It's more like a trade school. And they have 5-20 year olds.
Anyway, some friends of ours asked me if I would be interested in helping this particular Christian school out. Maybe teach a Bible class every 2 weeks or so. Sounded great. She wanted to know my credentials, sheep skins, etc.
So we go to visit and I talk to some of the administration folks. Turns out they don't really want someone to teach a class every 2 weeks. See, the kids, at least many of them, don't' have 2 parents at home because one of them is working in the US and sending money back home. So their home lives are pretty dysfunctional and several of the older kids (18-20) work during the week to pay for school and have no one to, well, just to talk to about their life.
They want me to be the school psychologist. A counselor.
Yes, I have a B.A. in Psychology but anyone who has that degree will tell you it does NOT qualify you to be a counselor. Now I also know that I have more education than...well, than most folks here. A Masters in the states is not that abnormal. Here, it's pretty big. But to be a counselor in the states I need a lot more training. Like a few more years.
They want me to come Fridays and Saturdays but I don't know for how long. I can't give them even a full day - it's not why I'm here. You get warned a lot not to do everything that people want you to do because when you're a missionary folks think you can and should do everything that helps somebody else.
I bet that sounds pretty snooty.
What do you think? Can I do it all? Should I? I'm here to train pastors. That's not all I'll do - but how much do you add? How often do you say, "no" and get that horrible look from people who actually need help and dont' have anyone else to give it?
It's not an easy answer. On one hand I have the opportunity to influence and help high school and college age kids who don't have anyone else guiding them. On the other hand, the work I came here to do will very soon become all consuming. It will very soon become very, very busy.
I can tell you one thing for certain. The Lord will help me. He doesn't call Himself a shepherd on accident.