The holiday weekend is over and all will be back to the normal routine. Kids grumpily head back to school, parents go back to the workplace or the daily routine of dealing with lack of work, child issues, paying the bills, housework, etc.
For me, that included getting off the bench ( unemployment ) and back to earning a paycheck. The one hitch is that it again involves a extended trip to the dusty side of the world. In this instance, it is a little different as I am working a non-DOD contract but working for another large government department in a program to hire local staff for a program providing jobs in their impoverished areas.
This presents certain challenges as we are not located in the large well guarded FOBs but in a smaller secure compound in a city. There is security and the local army units protecting us and we are safe. Even being on a large FOB is not 100% safe so there is risk no matter where you are over here. In life, there are no guarantees. I see everyday where people are there one minute and by accident, incident or unseen circumstances, they lose their lives. It can be as simple as heading home from the store in your car or stepping off the curb at the wrong moment.
While many would feel that being here increases the likelihood of something dangerous occurring, I have made the decision to accept this work as it is important that I assist in the effort to provide others freedom, especially economic freedom. Back home, many are still struggling to find stable work and I was one of those people. Jobs at senior levels back home are not as plentiful and the employers are very particular about experience as they have their choice of candidates. Too many good people are being passed over and that is not how good hiring practices should be done. Wages are lower and earning what you are worth is not easy. The work here is meaningful and ensures I am paid a good wage for my efforts.
At the same time as I travel to the other side of the world, things back home continue at their normal pace. The homefront goes on even while I am not there to participate in daily events. I am blessed with a strong lady who shoulders the duty of keeping all at home normal while I have to be away. It is a tough trade off for both as I miss out on being there, and she finds herself having to handle the watch on her own. We both know it won't always be this way, and in the end, this work will supply the extra income that many others would envy.
At the same time, life goes on at a slower pace for the parents who gave us life and life's lessons. My wife's Mom working to recover from her health issues (long term recovery) and my Dad who wound up in the hospital for some health issues that have become more serious. He will recover and that recovery will be likely slower than hoped for but he is a strong man even at his age in the mid 80s. Being unable to visit him at the hospital is another tough part of this gig. I have to rely on the word I get over the Skype chat.
I am miles away and world's apart from home, and not being able to be there for my family and my Dad is the toughest part of taking on this type of assignment. If I didn't, there would be larger issues of an economic nature that would be as perilous to our safety as being over here. Too many others have hit of tough times through no real fault of their own, and many have lost their homes and more.
Being here ensures the continued economic safety of my family but at a price. That price is "time" and it is a steep price to pay. I have made a Faustian bargain with the economic devil that pursues all these days. Those I know at home are facing severe challenges of stagnant wages, fear of job loss and an unsure future. I will gain the extra income I need to fix issues like an old house that needs some serious upgrading. In the end, the extra will not provide affluence but an ability to make repairs/improvements that have been long overdue.
Each of us finds ourselves challenged in life today and how we respond to those challenges is the real test of our metal. A while ago, I posted a write up about " Some must go and fight the Dragons"....This time I am still fighting the Dragons but with a sword of economic sharpness for myself and those here who we will help.
The fight is dangerous but so would not engaging in the fight.
I recall the words of Isiah 6:8 - “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'”
We'll carry on the fight and seek God's graces as each of us travels along our life's dangerous and perilous path.