|«||Mi Tocayo »|
Last week I wrote about our material delivery in Puerto Peñasco. At the end of the post, I briefly alluded to the interaction with families during that part of the trip as the first time the families are assured their hopes of receiving a home would be realized. Then I chickened out by saying I would write more on that later. Well, I guess this is later.
In the lunchroom/wharehouse area of the Amor Ministries office is a large poster of a former trip participant in the embrace of a young Mexican child. If any of you have been around this ministry, been on mission trips with us, or received mailings from us, you have seen the photo. We use it a ton. In the upper right corner of this particular poster is added one of the Amor slogans, which reads, "Hope is a cement floor. Hope is four strong walls. Hope is a roof that doesn't leak." Altogether, it is a nice and evocative piece of advertising.
Unfortunately, I tend to be a scoffer. Not a scoffer in the extremely cynical, pessimistic, why try cuz your efforts are futile sense; but more the sarcastic, side comment to make someone laugh and shake their head at me kind of scoffer. Thus, as such scoffing goes, I would find myself standing near the poster making statements like, "If hope is four strong walls, then why do we build seven?" or, "If hope is a cement floor, why did we go with the parquet?" or better yet, "Hope must be a cement floor, 'cause linoleum is hopeless." Yes, I do realize none of these are as funny as they sound in my head. Nothing ever is.
Fortunately, my scoffings with regard to the poster have recently been laid aside. The two weeks we were in Peñasco did it for me. It started during material delivery and continued through the completion of the projects. For the first time in four years I allowed myself to see the physical change is people who are being blessed. When the trucks rolled up in front of the families and the first boards were taken down and placed in neat stacks on the ground in front of them, I could actually see people lifted from the inside-out. Behind tears I saw a spark. In sighs of relief I heard prayers of thanksgiving. We hadn't even started yet.
As the week rolled by and groups arrived and began construction, the changes were magnified and multiplied. One mother walked slowly around with a sad downcast face that all too well displayed the hardships of her life. When the group arrived to begin construction, one woman participant immediately noticed the pain in her face, approached her and gave her a big hug. By the last day, she could do nothing but smile and laugh. There was a quickness in her step that had not been there a few days before. She would readily jump in to help in the building of her new house. A softness began to show on her face. And there was something in her eyes....dare I say it was hope?
I don't think the actual definition of hope is anything as tangible as cement floors, strong walls, and a roof that doesn't leak. And I'm not going to look it up. I do think however (and by think I mean KNOW), that a mother who can sweep her floor and find something under the sand (besides more sand), who doesn't have to worry if her house will collapse in a strong wind, who knows her children will be dry in the next rainstorm, she can think about something else for a change.... maybe even the future.
To support Jon Wilson, click here.
Beautifully said Jon. Thanks.
Thats why your still on the field after 4 years my friend. God is doing a radical work of compassion in your life! As i sit around at the moment due to injuring my hand, i pray you would enjoy the rest of the year and know God's peace at christmas - love u mate, nathan