The Lost Representatives

After having spent much of their lives growing a family business, a couple entering their sixties retired. Not about to spend the rest of their days sitting idle, they researched needs in third-world countries and founded a nonprofit organization to help pipe fresh water into towns and villages. Members of many small communities in these countries had to walk miles to rivers or springs and could bring back only what filled vessels they could carry.

Establishing the mission of the nonprofit was the easy part. To take the next step, the couple, as the directors of the organization, selected a country to start with and initiated communication through the embassy with the government. At the same time, they sent representatives into that country to travel, speak with community leaders, and identify needs for piping water.

Strangely, though the directors expected to hear from the representatives shortly after they arrived in the country, they received no communications of any kind. Not a single text message from a single employee. Nor did they respond to calls or messaging.

The directors gave it some time, but as days passed with continued radio silence, they became more and more concerned. They hired another representative by the name of Samuel and sent him to the same country with instructions to communicate with the office frequently and to find those who had gone silent.

It didn’t take Samuel long to find his peers. They were still staying in the hotel in the capital city where the directors had booked only one night for them. When Samuel arrived, he located them in the hotel bar. Fortunately, it was afternoon and they still had their wits about them. In speaking with them, he learned that they had been so fascinated with the history, the sights, and the entertainment opportunities in the city that they had either forgotten their assignments or figured they would get around to meeting their responsibilities eventually.

Samuel heard their stories and then set about to remind them of their mission and the trust that the directors had given them. They were not tourists, and the time they spent in this country was not their own, nor were they staying on their own dime. They had wasted both time and money, and it was past time to be about their business. They needed to further the mission of their organization and try to improve the lives of people outside the capital.

Sobered by this reminder, the representatives returned to their rooms, packed their belongings, and checked out of the hotel. Now having recaptured a vision of their purpose, they went their separate ways and carried out their instructions.

Photo by Josh Hild on

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