This guest post is brought to us by Candice R. from Utah, who recently travelled with us to Peru.
I just returned from 10 days in the magnificent country of Peru. I went with a team from the Genesis Project (my church) through VisionTrust to do ministry at an orphanage in Ayacucho. It was an incredible opportunity that I am so grateful for. The orphanage is a little building on a crowded, busy street run by Christian missionaries. The name of the orphanage is Casa Luz or House of Light and it lives up to its name. The children who live there range anywhere from 2 months to their early 20’s, as the young adults are also given assistance to go to college.
Casa Luz is a house full of over 40 children of varying ages and believe it or not, it is also a house full of joy. When we first arrived at Casa Luz I had the amazing opportunity to hold baby Jesus. Jesus had just had his first birthday and as he snuggled into my arms, the tears began to flow. I was crying for the love I thought this boy would never feel. I was crying for the pain that his life would surely bring him. He was an orphan; no one to love him, hold him, or dry his tears. He would have no one to throw a baseball with him, or cheer him on at soccer games or teach him to play the highly complicated game of RISK. My heart broke for this little boy, who by no fault of his own, was alone in the world.
But as the days went on, I began to see the miraculous nature of Casa Luz. The children there were not sad. They were actually filled with an inexplicable joy and exuberance for life. They laughed easily and showed love even easier. They knew their Bibles backwards and forwards. They worshipped God whole-heartedly. Though the children of Casa Luz had very little and faced what seemed to me to be insurmountable obstacles, they were just as happy and self-assured as my own children. They were living proof of God’s redemptive power over any situation. This redemptive power was no doubt made tangible through the arms and the kisses of the Christian missionaries at Casa Luz. They are the ones who brought God’s love and care to these children. It was an amazing gift to be able to witness it.
As the trip came to a close and my heart yearned for home, I began to think about my favorite city, Ogden, Utah. I began to think about my church, The Genesis Project, and I began to think about my church family. I realize that many of them may never have the chance to visit Ayacucho. Maybe some will never leave the United States. But the redemptive power of Christ can flow through His followers wherever they are at. You can experience what I traveled across the world to see, right here at home.
From the beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus is clear about what He came to do. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus came to redeem people. He came with good news, with freedom, with vision and with victory. Jesus came for the broken and He charges us to do the same. The brokenness in our world is real. It is in Ayacucho, Peru. It is in Ogden, Utah. It is all around you. It is all around me. The question becomes, what are we going to do about it? Christ calls us the light of the world, a city on a hill, the salt of the earth. We were created to offer the world Christ’s redemptive power. But we must understand that Christ’s example of redemption was tangible. He didn’t just pray for people, He touched them, He fed them, He healed them.
He didn’t just talk about sacrifice, He gave His life. This is what we have been called to.