Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome to My Living Room

The past week I was invited into two different homes and was surprised to see that even in abject poverty there is still those that have and those that do not. In the pictures to the left you may see just the emptiness of the situation. Here is a young girl named Kathryn doing her home work in what would be the living room in your house or mine. She gets up every morning and goes down the hill out of the dump to a school across the highway where she studies from 7:00 until 12:00 then returns, changes into her work clothes, does her home work, and heads out to dig through the trash from a city of 1.7 million to help support her mom and two brothers. This young lady gave me a lesson in faith and perseverance. So many times it seems hard to get done what needs to get done, but here a young lady studies in the very midst of hell and keeps a smile not only on her face but in her heart . Her eyes are alive with hope, the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. As you look at her situation please don't pity her but pray for her, that she will continue to trust in the Lord to provide all she needs. The future is brighter than it may seem though that is sometimes hard to believe. Below is the family kitchen - an old fan cover provides the grilling surface for what the family will cook for the evening. It's not much compared to the monster grills we have here, but it provides the necessary surface to get the job done. My heart breaks as I talked to this family but at the same time the Lord showed me that through Him all things are possible, even survival in the city dump. I pray that someday I might have the same peace, courage, and perseverance as Kathryn. Earlier this day we were blessed to be apart of a surprise birthday celebration for Pastor Johny, who runs the AFE school across from the dump. The children, including Kathryn, collected their money from digging through the dump for plastic to recycle and surprised Johny with two new dress shirts and his wife with a beautiful jacket. They probably saved for six months and WOW, it was something to see.
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Another house I was invited into was that of Eddie. This is the young man who, last summer when we were done washing feet under the bridge, gathered all the street kids together and prayed for us. He thanked us for coming and doing something that had never been done before; it was truly a blessing not only to be prayed for by him but to serve in such a manner that truly impacted the hearts of these which the local society deems as disposable. This time we got to visit Eddie in his house under the bridge in downtown Teguc. What was amazing is that he was just as content as Kathryn was, not in the stuff, but in Christ. He wasn't embarrassed to have us in his living room or in his kitchen where most people gathered .

For the first time I, along with the others that were there, got to meet his family and learn a little more about him. Eddie had worked in the states for awhile in Atlanta doing construction until he broke his leg which is now held together with plates and causes him to limp and be in constant pain. He also showed me scars of his life, a bullet and stabbing scar along with a scar from a kidney surgery from his youth. I sat in amazement as he spoke with hope and thanksgiving on how the Lord always has provided, even now under the bridge, as he stirs the pot of beans and the other pot of rice cooking on the stove. Again I got a lesson in humility as he offered me lunch. His son Eddie is about 3 years old and was running and playing with an old somewhat flat ball, running in the dirt and debris with no shoes. We invited them and others up to the Micah house the next night where we gave them shoes and Carolyn cut their hair. Eddie the father got Heelies and little man got his first ever pair of shoes. While dad was excited little man was unsure of his new feet. As the week came to an end Brian Nelson and myself went back under the bridge to say goodbye to our friends assuring them that we would be back. I noticed that little man was playing with the same somewhat flat ball and had removed the shoes but they were safe up against the couch in the living room. You see it is not about what we take to or give to people it is about how we treat people with love that comes from the heart, not the store. It is the gift that God has given each of us that we can't earn, the Grace freely given that we must freely give of ourselves

This is Eddie's living room. Hopefully, when we get the tech school up and running Eddie can be part of this and just possibly the Lord will transform this place as much as he has Eddie's heart.

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