Cereal

One of my favorite authors is Donald Miller. He has written a number of books that have challenged me spiritually as well as just being enjoyable to read. My favorite book of his is called Through Painted Deserts. Honestly, it might be one of my favorite books of all time. It really is a great story about his journey from Texas to Oregon. It is a story about his journey across the country looking for answers to questions that weren’t asked. For some reason I can especially relate to this book but I also think it is about a journey we are all on. I recommend all Donald’s books, especially this one.

I have re-read it the past week and some different things caught me as unique and profound. I have pulled a couple quotes from the book that mean a lot to me where I am at right now. There is some background information that is pertinent to understand while I like this so much.

Donald and his friend Paul have traveled from Texas all the way to the Grand Canyon. They have spent a few days there and are now hiking to the river and back. They are not very well prepared to do such strenuous hiking and are struggling each day. The morning of the third day as they prepare to leave camp to head back to the rim, they are talking about one meal they would enjoy. They decide that a big bowl of Raisin Bran with some cold milk would be just about the best thing ever. The following quote from the book is just perfect!!

“You know, Paul begins, its funny. Two weeks ago when we talked about things we wanted or our aspirations, we would have talked about houses or boats or cars. Now that we’ve been on the road for a while, everything is reduced to a bowl of cereal. Paul develops a smile as he stands straight again. Isn’t that just beautiful? Cereal. There are people in this world who are killing themselves because they want more and more of nothing. And the only thing you and I want in this world is a bowl of cereal. That just shows you how the things we think are important really aren’t important.”

Having been to the Grand Canyon several times, I can relate to the difficulty of the terrain and challenge it would be for inexperienced hikers. Similarly, I spend a lot of time in the wilderness and often thoughts cross over to food. While I am a good cook and eat exceptionally well on the trail, there is nothing quite like a delicious home cooked meal or something as simple as a big bowl of cereal.

This quote from the book just hit me in a weird way as I read it this time through. Just the simplicity of wanting nothing more than cereal. Life can get cluttered with all sorts of things that don’t matter. I stress and worry about things that really truly do not matter in the least. I have been in that situation in the wilderness where I want nothing more than something delicious to eat. It is mind boggling that one day I could be worrying about classes and jobs and what am I going to do after college and a number of other things, and the next I just want some food. It is really a beautiful thing. I don’t think I should say that the things I stress about don’t really matter. But then again maybe they really don’t. Maybe life is about just wanting a bowl of cereal. Maybe its about looking at the way trees grow and the stars shine and eating cereal. Sometimes, actually a lot of times, I think we make life way more complicated than it needs to be. Maybe it really is all about stopping to smell the roses.

I have really come to the realization that there are some things that just don’t matter. I encourage you to take a moments and just be. I will say it again, just be. Don’t do anything, worry about anything, or even think about things. Trust me it is a lot harder than you think to just sit and be. Maybe you won’t get anything out of it or maybe this is just me rambling at 5am. Either way I hope you find peace and can just sit in the glory of God and be content with life as it is.

I leave you with another quote from Through Painted Deserts. Possibly later this weekend I will write my thoughts on it but for now you can just ponder it. Have a wonderful Easter everyone!! 🙂

There is nothing I am missing. I have everything I was supposed to have to experience the magnitude of this story, to dance with God.

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Far too long my friends!!

Well I think I am going to start blogging again. Not sure how it got lost in the shuffle somewhere back in Honduras in June, but it did. The past few months I have really wanted to start doing this again but each time I tried, my heart just was not in it. For some reason, at 2:57am, I feel the need to revive the writer in me that disappeared for a good long while.

I am not really sure where to start because so much has changed over the last few months since I last blogged. Over the next couple weeks, I am going to attempt to remember some of the things that have happened recently. For this morning, just getting this thing back on track will be sufficient.

My goal for this time around is to post at least once a week. I expect my faithful readers (if there are any) to hold me to this because I am not good at remembering things.

So basically this time around I’m just gonna share my thoughts on different things that are on my heart. I will probably just ramble on sometimes about nothing but that might be a good thing. Who knows maybe someone will get something out of one of my posts and if not, hey at least I can write and get things off my chest.

So with that, I will leave y’all with a bible verse for the day. It is very weird that right after I started writing this, I looked up my daily bible verse and it goes right along with me starting this blog up again.

Ephesians 6:19-20

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Shalom,

Garrett

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, sister, have refreshed the hearts of the saints…Philemon 1:4-7

Today has been much of a reflection day for me. We have literally been out and about since about 5 minutes after I rolled out of bed. While we have not had much time to spare, I have felt the passage above on my heart most of the day. It is because of your donations, love, and most importantly your prayers that I have been able to show the love of God to the people of Honduras. I thank you so much for believing in me and supporting me along this amazing journey. You all have been an amazing blessing to me that I can not thank God enough for. My love for serving and loving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength has increased daily while here in Honduras. I pray continually that His light pour out through me for all the world to see. I have never felt so blessed and humble to be a part of the kingdom of God. Thank you all so much for being part of this journey with me!!

 

 

Check the prayer requests page!! 🙂

Where has all the time gone!?!

Whewwwwww!! What a crazy few days it has been!! Not that I am complaining at all it has been fabulous here!! Last Thursday we visited a school out in Valle. It is located in a community that is very poor and has some drug and gang problems. The school has no running water and it is not fenced in properly. This is a problem because the hoodlums come in at night and steal the items that are within the school. We had the opportunity to go there and feed them lunch on Thursday!! Sandra made a couple big pots of this pasta like food with chicken and some hot dogs.

When the team arrives next week, we might be working with them on some projects. Along with securing the fence with barb wire and razor wire, we could level a piece of property and build a new classroom. Please be praying for the children and teachers at this school and the community around this area.

Later that afternoon we had a few hours to burn before meeting a lady so we went and tooled around Valle de Angeles. For those of y’all who don’t know, Valle is kinda the touristy part of Honduras. They have a lot of little shops that cater to the “Americans” who come to buy souvenirs. There are all sorts of things to buy from hammocks, to t-shirts, to handmade pottery. Matt and I found these awesome “Honduran” shirts that we purchased for cheap.

Friday was kinda a get ready for the weekend day. We ran a lot of errands and got a bunch of stuff that we needed. We went to the hardware store to get bolts and supplies for our bunk beds. We went to the wood place to order the rest of the wood needed for the bunk beds. We went to the grocery store to get food since Sandra wouldn’t be there on the weekends. It was a busy day but kind of relaxed compared to some of our other days!!

For the past couple weeks there have been rumors about the ex-president “Mel” Zelaya returning to the country on Saturday. Sure enough he came and so did his supporters. When he was ousted in 2009, his supporters rioted in the streets and caused a huge problem for days. They flipped cars, broke out windows, dropped hundred pound rocks off bridges onto cars and people, and rioted in the streets of Teguc. We weren’t exactly sure how they would react to him coming back in the country so we decided early that we were not leaving the house on Saturday.  (which is why we stocked up on things to keep us busy for at least a couple days in case things got crazy) Sure enough there were tons of people out supporting his return. They started on Friday in the streets and continued all Saturday. We got to see them with their flags and banners out in the streets on Friday.

Early Saturday morning we heard some “fireworks”!! (more likely gun shots but we like to think positively here) We watched the news safely from the inside of the home while we worked most of the day on our bunk beds.

The past week or so we have got to cook most of our dinners. Fortunately for me, we have an awesome grill here at the house!! Grillmaster Garrett has been cooking almost every night on that bad boy!! I don’t mean to brag on myself butttttt I am the ultimate grillmaster chef!!

Sunday was another interesting day as we got to take the little boys to church. We went to this church called Impacto. It was a unique church because it was in Spanish but they had headsets in which a lady spoke everything in English. It wasn’t exactly a typical CoC worship service but I definitely enjoyed it. I am always very open to different worship styles whether it be with instruments or with a worship team or whatever. The message that day was on giving. One thing that stood out to me was the idea of “investing in eternity.” The preacher basically asked if we looked at our bank statements or budgets, would they show that we are putting our money into Godly things? I had never heard it quite like that before so if you here me say “investing in eternity” thats where it came from.

Sunday afternoon we took the little boys to Denny’s and then came home for some relaxation. Matt took a nap for a couple hours and the girls took the little boys to an English speaking service. Matt and I stayed here and worked on rearranging the house to accommodate the group when they get here. Luvin (one of Jen’s boys) started sweeping the floor and soon after Matt and I joined in cleaning the entire house. We mopped the floor, washed and dried dishes, cleaned the bathrooms, even washed some windows. (I know mom you are asking why I never get the urge to do that at home, sorry)

I can’t exactly remember what we did on Monday but it probably consisted of building bunk beds and maybe running some errands. Some of the days are very similar to others and they kinda get all mixed together. I guess it wasn’t too important if I can’t remember.

Tuesday was another day in which we didn’t leave the house I don’t think. Matt and I built more bunk beds and got some other stuff finished here.

Today was another busy day here. We had to meet this teacher lady who was leaving for the states so she could take a suitcase of coffee back to sell. (let me know if you would like to buy some it is muy delicioso!!) We were going to go to the dump to help feed the people there but this girl was very late so we just hung out at the airport. David Logue and Jenn Hines came back from a month long visit to the states. Also on the same flight was a Torch team of about 125!!! After picking them up we gathered a bunch of tools from Mi Esperanza and took them up to the mission house. I love the house we are staying at this year but there is just something I am going to miss about living at Villa Gracias!! On the way there a truck carrying a huge bulldozer clipped the truck we were in and left a scratch. It wouldn’t have been too big a problem except that the truck is a rental and we would have had to pay for it. So after some yelling in the street and the guy just leaving, we don’t exactly know what is going to happen. Please pray that it won’t cost us anything to get it touched up or that the guy will pay for it to be fixed. On the way back to the house we stopped by a car shop and decided to buy a red truck that we have been thinking about buying for a few weeks. After a couple of hours of sitting there waiting for paper work, we finally got to leave. I think the best part of it all was getting to see Matt drive a standard in Honduras!!! He was pretty darn good for not having drove a stick in a while. I was definitely impressed!!

Tomorrow we are taking the rental truck back and then transporting some tin to the build sites for the Torch teams. I think we are going back to Valle to feed the kids at the school again and then who knows what else we will be doing!!

Please look at my other post from tonight about praying for Brianna!! Also please be praying each day for the people here and the work that we are doing. Thank y’all so much for you love and support!!

As I always tell my mom “See ya here or see ya there” (aka Heaven) 🙂

Yours in Christ,

Garrett

1 Thessalonians 5:13

I haven’t posted in a few days because we have been super busy which is a good thing!! I will be writing and posting some pictures of the things we have been working on the last couple days. Right now I am asking for some prayers. Brianna has not been feeling well the past day or two. It is one thing to be sick at home but when you are away from home in foreign country it makes it that much harder. I ask that y’all take some time to pray for her so that she can get better and be able to love and serve the people here again instead of  feeling under the weather!! Thanks very much for you prayers and support!! Another post sometime this evening!!

 

Garrett

Obsessed

It has been a long, tiring day here in Honduras. It is a great feeling knowing that I am weary after a day of serving and loving God. I am headed to bed soon so today’s post is a few quotes from the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. (I finally finished it this evening) I will be sure to post something tomorrow with some pictures from what we got to do today!!

People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly without censure. Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back.

People who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people are more about God’s kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress.

People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to Him. (1 John 2:4-6; Matt 16:24-26)

Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. As Martin Luther put it, “There are two days on my calendar: this day and that day” (Luke 14:25-35; Matt 7:13-23; 8:18-22; Rev 3:1-6)

A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the sin of pride is always a battle. Obsessed people know that you can never be “humble enough” and so they seek to make themselves less known and Christ more known. (Mat 5:16)

People who are obsessed with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Obsessed people take joy in loving God by loving His people. (Matt 13:44; John 15:8)

People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers. Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world. (James 2:14-26)

A person who is obsessed thinks about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them.

A person who is obsessed is characterized by committed, settled, passionate love for God, above and before every other thing and every other being.

People who are obsessed are raw with God; they do not attempt to mask the ugliness of their sins or their futures. Obsessed people don’t put it on for God; He is their safe place, where they can be at peace.

People who are obsessed with God have an intimate relationship with Him. They are nourished by God’s Word throughout the day because they know that forty minutes on Sunday is not enough to sustain them for a whole week, especially when they will encounter so many distractions and alternative messages.

A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort. Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God. (James 1:2-4)

A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying “Thank You!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in his role as child and friend of God.

So the question of the day/week/year is are you obsessed?!?!?

Yours in Christ,

Garrett

The Dream Team

For all those of you wondering, we made it to Honduras just fine. A bit tired and some jet lag from being up for so long and the time change but other than that it was a great trip. It has been a fabulous couple of days here already. We have been here only 3 full days and I feel as if I have been here a month!! We have been super busy which is why I haven’t posted a blog til now. On Sunday we woke up to a thunderstorm and no power which meant we didn’t make it to church because of transportation in the truck. We did get to catch up on some sleep which was a wonderful treat. Sunday afternoon was spent working on some blueprints for bunk beds that we need to make for the house. Although my father is an architect, I don’t know too much about designing much of anything. Matt and I did some research and came up with a pretty solid plan for our bunks. Jen also asked us if we could put together some sort of table and benches. We also came up some pretty legit plans for both of those.

Sunday evening we had the choice of going to an English speaking service with the little boys or go to our friend Amber’s for service with some homeless and then feed them afterward. Matt, Colby, Andy, and myself went to Amber’s. Although the service was in Spanish, I knew that I was sitting among brothers and sisters in Christ. My favorite part of service here in Honduras is communion. I find is especially fascinating that even though we may not speak the same language, the people in that room are my brothers and sisters!!! We sing and worship the exact same God!! I love love love taking communion with those people here.

Amber has been taking care of a little girl named Rosey for some time now. She is about 2 I think. I don’t have a picture of her but I will try to get one while I am here. After we fed the people who attended the service, we all went to pizza hut for dinner with Jen and the little boys. (I will try and get some pics of them up here soon so yall will know who they are) At the pizza hut they had a fairly decent sized play pen. Rosey insisted on me coming to play with her in the play pen. Although the sign said not more than 3 ft or 10 yrs old, I went in and had a blast. I definitely did not fit very well in any of the areas, but that did not stop me (or Rosey) from having an awesome time playing in there!!

Monday morning, Matt and I were up and ready to rock to the hardware and lumber store’s at 630. Unfortunately the stores didn’t open until 8 so we had some time to goof off a little bit. We have only been here a couple days but we have had some interesting moments and some even better comments that I am sure will last a lifetime!! After getting the lumber and hardware, we came back and got to work on our (semi-sketchy) plans. The first thing we built was the table. This was the easy part. In just a couple of hours we had completed the table and 2 benches.

Today was another day full of building. Instead of tables and benches we started on the real project of building bunk beds. This was slightly more challenging than the table but we made it work. It took us the better part of the day but we finally finished just as the rain started coming down.

So that has been what are working  on the past couple of days which has keep us pretty busy. Tomorrow is going to be another great busy day. We are planning to go get mattresses for beds in the morning, go to the hardware store again, then go to the dump to feed. I love and hate going to the dump. It is an incredible place for a variety of reasons. Visiting the dumb breaks my heart a little bit every time we go. Just to see people who dig through garbage to find food and make shelter out of whatever they can find, that just runs a knife right through me every time. So if you pray for anything in the next day pray for those people who are in the dump in Tegucigalpa. It has been an amazing few days here so far and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be part of His work here. I am also thankful that He has blessed y’all and in turn you have blessed me and these people here.

Yours in Christ,

Garrett

Columbus, OH

Ceasar Chavez Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I will know my people’s delight. Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person. Help me take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last. Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life. Give me honesty and patience, so that the Spirit will be alive among us. Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that will will never tire of the struggle. Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life. Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world. Amen.

Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, wrote, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world; yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; yours are the hands with which God is to bless people now.

Just some quotes that I ran across earlier today that I wanted to share. We are sitting in the Columbus airport with about an hour to spare but we are finally ready to rock and roll. Talk to y’all when we get to Honduras. Peace

Another Semester Down!!

This past Friday, I finished my sophomore year of college. I technically have enough hours to be a junior but it is only my second year. Anyway, last week was finals week. A week which means no class but lots of catching up on stuff that I should have done weeks if not months ago. Thats just college for ya. My first final was Monday night in managerial finance. (fun stuff..not) I ate breakfast early in the morning and then proceeded to not leave my room for 8 hours because I was cramming hardcore. This was one of my easier classes but I was still super nervous about it. I didn’t have to do super well on the final to get an A in the class but I was freaking out most of the day trying to remember every little formula and tidbit about finance. I finally told myself that I needed to relax and that it would be alright regardless of how I did. So I went and played some hoops with my dad and his office buddies. Needless to say I was making it rain from behind the 3-point line. What can I say, I perform well under pressure. Sorry dad, we spanked you guys. After that I had another hour before my final. I knew I couldn’t eat and I sure was not going to help myself any by trying to cram more. After having taken college finals in 3 previous semesters, I have found the solution to what helps the most before taking a final.

Instead of trying to cram last minute info into my head, I simply pray and read my bible. It is so relaxing and comforting knowing that regardless of how I do on the final, God will still love me more than I can possibly imagine. What better way to prepare for a final or any other stressful moment than spending time with the Creator. I don’t ever pray that I get a good grade on a test or that I pass a class. I don’t think God really cares about what I get in managerial finance. (sorry mom and all my teacher friends reading this) I think God is more concerned with my relationship with Him and whether the things I do, including school, are bringing honor and glory to His name. I don’t think God is as concerned with my class as whether or not I am using the opportunities presented to me to further the Kingdom. One passage I read that day was from Matthew 6 about do not worry. This passage talks about how we are not to worry about what we are to eat and drink or wear, that God will take care of us. How many of us believe that?? Honestly take a minute and think about how much we worry about things.

Seriously, stop and think for a few minutes. Then you can continue to read.

It is ridiculous the amount of time and energy we waste on worrying about things. And the crazy thing is we know it yet we still do it!! CRAZY!! Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying to not care about things. Included in that passage in Matthew is this verse: “seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we are seeking HIM, we have no need to worry!! Isn’t that great?!? Except for the part where we don’t do that. It sounds so simple and rewarding to let God take care of things but we still feel the need to hold on. I don’t know whether its a control issue or a lack of trust. We claim to have faith but when we hold on to things, I’m not so sure how strong that faith is. Yea that is right I am calling myself and you out on our faith. If we can’t give everything up to God, what does that say about our faith?

The story doesn’t end there though. I had two more finals on Friday morning and I had to pack all of my dorm room up to move home. Tuesday comes around and I am starting to get a real bad sore throat. I hate going to the doctor so I put that off until I couldn’t take it anymore on Wednesday evening. I didn’t have strep but I was pretty miserable and did not want to be studying or cleaning and packing. I spent most of the day Thursday in bed not doing anything. Friday morning rolls around and I have barely studied and haven’t touched my room. So once again instead of cramming, I start reading and praying. Let me tell ya, it truly is amazing the feeling you get when you give it all to God. As much as I wanted to get good grades on my finals, I know that there are more important things in life. When your only care in the world is how can I be Jesus to someone today, it makes life a whole lot easier. When we are worrying about this and that and all the stuff we need to do and this final and the lack of studying and I haven’t packed and I haven’t slept much, we take our focus off of God. We get so distracted by all the things around us that we forget that we have a Father who provides for us!! He takes care of us!! The passage I kept in my head Friday was Proverbs 3 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” I am sick and sleep deprived and haven’t studied haven’t packed and I am reading about trusting God. So trust is what I did and God provided. I got my grades yesterday 3.6 GPA this semester. I have been feeling much better since Friday and I fortunately got all packed up and moved out of the dorm after 7 hours of packing and cleaning. The best part about it all is that I was worry free!! I didn’t have a care in the world because I knew that God was right there with me taking care of me. Amazing feeling knowing that God has me in His big ol’ hands and He has it all under control.

So I have a challenge for you for the next few days. Stop worrying!! Simple enough right!?! I am leaving the country for a month and I am telling you all to not be worrying. Trust me just do it. Whenever you start stressing or getting all worked up about something STOP. Literally stop and give it to God. If it helps, hold your hands out and say God it is yours. This is completely in your hands and I am letting you take control of it. There is no better place for anything to be than in God’s hands. Remember He provides!! You will save yourself a lot of headache by giving your daily life to God. I know this is hard because we want to be in control and have things our way but when we give it all to God amazing things can happen. So that is my challenge to you. Let me know how it goes!!

Yours in Christ,

Garrett

1 John 2:6

1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

In preparing to write this blog for my journey to Honduras, the first thing I had to do was come up with a name for it. I wanted it to be catchy and unique, something that people would remember. That is when I was reading in 1 John and came across this verse. “To live as Jesus did” What a great name for a blog about my journey with Christ and how I am living each day for Him.

Every single day of our lives needs to be about doing God’s work. From the moment we wake up until we close our eyes at night, we should be a people about God’s work. Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Whether you are working a 9-5 job or are a missionary, every moment of the day should be about showing the world God’s glory. Each day that God blesses me with, I try and radiate the hope he has given me. When people look at me, I want them to notice that I am not like most people. I want them to see something different in the way I carry myself, in the way I interact with people, and the way that I am not of this world. When I talk to people I want the glory of God to be so overwhelming that they can’t help but wonder why I am the way I am. Our goal in life shouldn’t be about making a lot of money or getting a promotion at work. Our lives need to be about radiating the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.

Today was Mother’s Day so I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the moms out there especially my mother. Without her love and comfort, I would not be the man I am today. She has always been there for me and our family and I can’t thank God enough for her. (and for her dealing with me all these years haha) Thanks again to all the mothers and everything you do.

I leave you with a challenge and a verse from Matthew. Starting right now, this moment, be about radiating God’s glory. Pray, eat, sleep, work, play, shine like Jesus.

Matthew 13:43 “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Yours in Christ,

Garrett  ☮ ♥ ✞

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