Mark My Words: Improving our relationships with parents

I took a group of young teens to Mexico on a mission trip to build a little house for a family. After painting the house, we had to clean our brushes. Our logistics person had picked up some paint thinner or something of that sort, and two girls did the work, getting it all over themselves in the process. However, whatever we used was not the same as the stuff I was used to in the States. I should have had them wear gloves (though it probably wouldn’t have made a difference, since they got it everywhere). But whatever was in that clear liquid dried out the skin on their hands and arms to the point where they were quite panicked, and in mild pain. We soaked their arms and did what we could in terms of care, and within about five or ten minutes, they were fine.

A week later one of their dads went ballistic. He literally screamed at me for my irresponsibility, for threatening his daughter’s life (yes, that’s what...

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