Monday, August 01, 2005

From Venezuela



This was perhaps my fondest memory of our recent trip to Venezuela. A group of us went up on the dump where desparate people sort through the garbage that comes from Maracaibo. Our team has ministered there in recent years. As we hiked across the trash to where the people were sifting through the garbage, we were met by a woman and her 9-year-old daughter who lived there. Their faces radiated great joy and the woman continually praised God for all He does for her and they hugged each one of us dearly. As the girl hugged me, one of our team members took this photo.

This is a direct result of the work we do. While we take food and medicine to these people, it only lasts a short time. But we also give them hope. Hope not for this world, but for the next. They may live in a dump, but so do we. It's just arranged a little differently and smells a little better. The end result is that we all die. But God has promised that for those He calls to trust that He has paid the price for our sin - one that we can't pay ourselves and live - a price bore by God Himself in the person of His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ - that He would grant us eternal life with Him in His kingdom. I see on this dump people who are, by my standards, dirty on the outside but who have been cleansed on the inside. I can walk through the mall and see people who, by my standards, are clean on the the outside and filthy on the inside. On the dump at Maracaibo, the harvest is ripe. Here, the fields seem overgorwn with weeds.

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