Author SAM DONHOWE
co/authored by Shari Tvrdik
It was Sunday evening and the service at the La Paz God With Us Church was almost over.
I was thinking about what the afternoon would hold for me when all of a sudden the Pastor mentioned my name:
“we have a donation of clothing and shoes that needs to be delivered next Saturday to a village near Puno (southern Peru). The village has been affected by heavy frost this winter. If anyone wants to sign up for a brief trip to send relief to these communities, please talk with Sam”.
I stood up and waved as if I knew what the pastor was talking about, while silently unsure of what was happening and not knowing what the Lord had in store for me.
I spent the next week coordinating the arrangements for the trip (with all the flaws of Bolivian logistics),
I found out a little more about the situation in the region that we were about to visit.
It was a precarious time for the people living there.
Livestock, mainly llamas, had died due to the frost. There were children and the elderly in these communities who had taken sick with pneumonia.
The following Saturday we gathered the small team of five Bolivians and two Peruvian volunteers. After a 7 hour uncomfortable van ride our team arrived to the village of Crucero, which lies three hours north of Lake Titicaca.
This was absolutely not where I had planned to be when I arrived to church six days ago a beautiful Sunday morning.
However, I was thankful for the unexpected.
As we began to hand out the medicine, Christian literature, shoes and clothing to the people, I was reminded of what I read in the Bible during my quiet time earlier that day.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25: 34-40
The scripture which had been simply in words read in the morning, became living letters to me that afternoon.
I looked for Jesus.
I should see Jesus in these people and care for them as if they were Jesus himself.
So many times I want to see Jesus in the important people but instead I must train my eyes to see Jesus in the needy and weary.
Perhaps we would run to these uncomfortable places,
to these hurting people,
if we truly believed His words.
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