Dishtowel Dilemmas

This week down in Morton, IL my brother and his youth group are having their annual "mission survivor" where they spend the entire week doing service projects around the area. This past weekend, Aaron was sharing about some of the places they usually go. One of these places is in downtown Peoria where a group of nuns from Mother Theresa's order in India live and serve as missionaries. Anyway, these nuns never ask for money or anything really. Instead they just live and service what God provides for them that day. Really cool stuff. Anyway, Aaron was talking about a previous year where they were helping out there and they noticed that the nuns did not have any dishtowels. Since they don't raise money they can't buy stuff they need. The live constantly in faith and grace even with the provision of clean and dry towels.

Working with DOOR, I find myself in a semi-dilapidated, unfamiliar kitchen suddenly in charge of a whole lot of high schooler's morning and evening meals. And as someone who loves cooking and prides herself on what she makes, it has made me want to melt down in the middle of trying to get that dumb water pot to finally boil. I think after this summer I will be a pro at working in small, semi-working kitchens since this will be my third one in a row. But after all my "crazy kitchen experience" I think I have learned to more chill about it. We will eventually have food on the table for the masses of kids waiting after a long day of service. I do enjoy a cooking challenge but when I find myself with no measuring cups or spoons, limited pots and pans and a whole heap of dirty, damp dishtowels (an no other option), it's pretty easy to forget that (especially today – my 24th birthday when there are so many other things I'd rather be doing then cooking a mess of spaghetti).

It makes me wonder. How did those nuns dry dishes (especially the ton of them that come with food prep for masses of people) all that time without dishtowels? Tomorrow, I guess we'll kind of figure that out here for ourselves since I left what was left of the towels draped over things but who knows if 1. They will be dry 2. Be clean enough to use and 3. Even be there in the first place. But this is service and what is the point of service if not to teach us about how to trust God in everything – even the smallest thing possible, like dishtowels.


  1. Working with SWAP feels the same way a lot of the time. I about had a breakdown last year cause I couldn't get a door to unlock but right then a friend who shouldn't have been driving past, drove past and helped me get the door open. That may not seem like a big deal, but to me it was God sending a little angel my way. I hope you get to meet lots of angels this summer Anna :)


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