We're In It Together
I’ve driven this road a hundred times, but today, we’re moving slowly, deliberately, dodging the potholes and deep ruts carved by summer rains. The buses are groaning under the weight of the food supplies we're delivering. We turn into the children’s center and clouds of red dust billow behind us.
The tiny courtyard is full and my heart sinks at the realization that some of these families might leave empty-handed. The bags are unloaded and placed at the front of the room. Pastor Norlan stands in front of them and preaches a short message on trusting in God alone. “Governments will fail us, political parties will fail us, people will fail us, but God will never fail us. He alone is worthy of our faith and confidence.” The room is witnessing a living demonstration of these words.
Today is different. As Lola and I look across the room we see people that look out of place, people that aren't normally here. The elderly, the handicapped that had to be carried in, unemployed men that can’t provide for their families and an unmarried fourteen year old girl and her new baby. She is Lola's age, ugh! They carry the weight of their hardships on their faces.
The political crisis and it’s economic fallout have lasted nearly four months and there’s no end in sight. Families that were doing okay, are hurting now. The poor are suffering the worst I’ve seen in seventeen years. The largest economic sector, tourism, is dead. The majority of resorts, hotels, restaurants are closed. A majority of the NGO’s and non-profits have pulled out. Some ministries have deserted the country. A good many missionaries are leaving. The ripple effects are devestating for the economy and the humanitarian aid that would normally come in.
One by one, they come forward to receive their food supplies. I want to take pictures to send home, but not today. Today, everybody needs a hug. There are lot’s of tears and “Dios le bendigas”, and many short testimonies of God's faithfulness. No words are needed to know we're in this together. It's about community, it's about long-term relationships. At the end, with one provision left, Lola and I look at each other and we're spent. Christ has graciously shared the weight of their burdens with us.
That following week Pastor Norlan shared with me the many testimonies given in church that Sunday. Many of those same families that had never been to church before came for the first time. God moves and works in mysterious ways. He has moved us to begin a new ministry, a feeding program for the handicapped and elderly. This past Tuesday was our first day at Pastor Norlan’s church. Eighty people were served.
A few days prior, a similar and every bit as meaningful event was held in Cristo Rey with Pastor's Carlos and Zulema at Casa del Rey Church.
We would like to thank our gracious sponsor, A Cause for Tea for being an answer to prayer for so many families.
It doesn’t end here. These precious families are desperate and need our help to get through this crisis. All donations that come in through our Community Projects link will go toward our food relief efforts. We would love to do this at least once a month. Be a small part of something big, be an answer to prayer for a family today. Thank you!