Today, God allowed me to feel the weight of my own depravity. We walked through the batays of Poncho Mateo and Chichigua where I was overwhelmed by the abject poverty.
That God would ordain that I should live in the United States of America where one has drinkable water at the faucet, while these beautiful children live without many of our perceived necessities, seemed completely unfathomable to me. My heart broke that the villagers are dependent upon water trucks to fill a dirty sistern with water for cooking and washing clothes. Many do not have shoes. Some do not have clothes. I was filled with pity and grief, wanting desperately for them to have the life I live... only to be rebuked by the Holy Spirit.
You see, I'm not satisfied with my material wealth. Though by comparison I live like a king, my joy is not found in the car I drive, the clothes I wear, or the apartment I live in. Likewise, these villagers would not find joy in those things either. While life would be easier for these precious ones, no one has ever gone on the record to say they were tired of material wealth. It does not satisy. It is never enough.
True joy is found only in Jesus Christ. He is more precious than the finest silver, more costly than the purest gold. That became quite apparent to me as the children began to color in our coloring books and play basketball and soccer with us. With gleeful cries of "Caballito (horse)," they showed they were not there because we could give them money, toys, or other material possessions. No, they rejoiced in us as we got down in the dirt with them, shrugging off any preconceptions or prejudices we may have brought with us. They were willing to allow us the privilege of giving inexhaustible piggy back rides or playing silly games, ad nauseum.
God allowed us to share His unconditional love with a people group that has been cast aside and shunned and, moreover, we were joyfully loved in return.
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, (O)to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'"
*Special thank you to the Muticultural Center - Palestine, for donating many articles of clothing and toys. They will be distributed by the local churches at the missionaries' request.