Psalm 69:32 “The poor will see and be glad–you who seek God, may your hearts live!”
“Please come in! Welcome to my home! I have prayed that God would send your team and here you are!”
These are just a few of the greetings our team received this past June as we visited with the villagers of Cruz Blanca, Guatemala. Walking along the dusty and winding roads of Cruz Blanca was an eye-opening experience for many of the team members from Greensboro, NC. However, it was the interactions and relationship-building conversations with the people that left the most dramatic impressions.
The two goals for the team—on paper—were to serve the local staff of VisionTrust by reinforcing the Learning Center’s “monthly teaching focus” of perseverance through VBS and to deliver and install 64 water filtration systems to some of the families in the community. The team was focused on the goals, which they ultimately accomplished, however God wanted so much more for them.
Each evening, as the team reflected on the daily events, most of the conversations weren’t about a game, craft, Bible story, or a water filter. Instead, the team was being transformed by the hospitality, joy, and contagious smiles of the people. They were blown away with the examples of authentic peace that greeted them at each doorway. This was a stark contrast to the interactions they experience in their daily lives around their hometowns, and they were hungry for more authenticity.
Listening to their experiences reminded me of a thought-provoking quote from Brad Corrigan, lead singer of the band Braddigan, who has given his life to ministry through music to the people living in a trash dump on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua. On a track called “Where is Poverty” that was recorded in 2008 Brad says,
“Where is poverty in this (referring to the life of the people in the trash dump) if all they can do is smile and love…they will give you their best chair if they have one, they will give you all the food that they have found, and they will give you the only clean bottle of water that they have. Where is poverty in that and where is wealth in our country when we have everything that this world has ever yearned for or dreamt of and yet we think that we don’t have enough?”
Praise the Lord for the times when those who we think we are helping end up helping us in much greater ways!