TO CONNECT IN LOVE

If you want, jump back a few posts to read the rest of this series!

I pray that you would let these stories connect you. I pray that you would seek more than the instant world around you. I pray that you would tear down the buffers between yourself and poverty because buffers separate; buffers encourage numbness. I pray that the Lord breaks your heart over what you discover when you begin or continue to search to better understand the similarities that you have with people all over the world; they may speak a different language, be a different race or hold a different social status, but there is one thing that can bind us all:

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TO CONNECT BY STOPPING

We collapsed into our beach chairs.

After a long week of serving in the hot Dominican sun, we were thankful for the break.

Anna and I turned down the offer to go snorkeling with one of the mission teams who had come in just so we could rest for the morning.

We started chit-chatting about all sorts of things. But less than five minutes into the conversation, I looked over and saw a familiar face standing on the shore, looking out over the crystal clear water.

“I think I’ve seen him on the streets, Anna.”

But we weren’t exactly sure. And we were sure we couldn’t speak his language.

But Anna called him over anyways. Continue reading “TO CONNECT BY STOPPING”

TO CONNECT BY COMING

[If you want, first read my previous post here about connection.]

With sweat dripping down my forehead and back, I walked over mounds of trash. I felt dirty, even with pants and rubber boots on. But this was my purpose for the day, so it didn’t matter; peanut butter sandwich in hand, I walked toward him anyways.

Breathing in the hot, smelly air as I walked, I thought about the life he is living. He is a refugee living in a garbage dump in the Dominican Republic. He either lives under a tree or in an extremely impoverished community within walking distance from the dump. His days are spent under the hot Dominican sun, rummaging through the garbage with bare hands looking for something he can eat, wear or sell. Even at that moment, he was too busy working and claiming his trash to come and take the food and water we had for him.

As I walked closer, I took in the scene. Garbage everywhere. But in the distance, the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic surrounded the pain that is woven in. And the man, starving to death, sick, and longing for a better life.

And suddenly, looking at the man, I saw myself.

Continue reading “TO CONNECT BY COMING”

TO CONNECT

She ran over, pressing herself into us. It was obvious who we were. We were the American missionaries who walk through the streets at night to pray over people.

And it was obvious that she didn’t belong with us.

Her friends pulled at her arms, telling her to not stay and pray with us. They told her she needed to keep working; she pushed them away and stood in the middle of our group of four or five people.

We talked and soon learned that her name is Melissa.

And when asked what she wanted us to pray for, she responded in Spanish, desperately: “I want to get out of here. I want off the streets. I want to be free from this.”

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SHINE YOUR LIGHT

Darkness is the absence of light.

Absolute darkness is the lack of all light. Pitch-black darkness.

Light, on the other hand, gets brighter and brighter and brighter.

On earth, we know light on many different levels: a dim room at night with only a lamp on, an office bright with artificial light, a bright kitchen full of morning and artificial light or a big field on a sunny day at noon. The brightest light that the human mind can comprehend is the sun, and that still won’t compare to the light in heaven.

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TO KNOW

We live in an odd world. We trade our time and our days and our lives for things-things that are fleeting.

We are living in a world full of people (souls) whose only hope, outside of the Gospel, is what we can do for ourselves. We will spend our entire lives climbing the ladder or building a family or gaining respect or trying to change the world. And the problem is, we all subconsciously (or sometimes consciously) know that the world is wasting away. We can change it, but it will only last changed for a while before it all passes away. And so, when we begin to realize this, we become depressed and depression can often lead to a stationary life.

Oh friend, run the opposite way. You and I are called to a different, moving life. We are called to a life where Jesus is our hope.

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