Wednesday marks our half-way point. It is the day that Sarah Ago intentionally passes out her flexi-crackers. Flexi-crackers are a Sarah Ago invention to help us chill when we are feeling stressed, agitated, anxious, sad, fatigued or otherwise. She calls the flexi-crackers magic, yet we all know it is simply her sharing God’s love with us, and reminding us to see ourselves as our loving Father sees us. For that we are grateful.
On this day we spent time with the kids, singing and sharing, a little bit of work at the building project, and most importantly, an afternoon of home visits. Home visits are spending time with the family of our sponsor child in their home. It is significant because it gives us a chance to see how the children live, and to share God’s love with the family in a relational way. It provides context for prayer for our sponsor child, and sometimes the impetus to do something financially in addition to our monthly sponsorship to help the family with a healthier living environment. We experience many different types of environments, from the very poor to somewhat comfortable, the very hospitable to the cool and disconnected.
It is easy to be introspective on these visits, seeing what we can learn and how God can move us to do something more or different. Yet there is also what our relationships with the family do for them. It changes their perception of Americans, as well as what Christianity stands for. It is more significant than how we perceive our own sense of need to act. It is relationship, and that is the reason for us being here. It is relationship that provides for change. It is relationship that encourages, provides needed support and exhibits God’s love to others. It is relationship that paves the way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a demonstrable way, in a way that invites change to experience Life in the light of God’s love.
The needs of the people here are no different than our own. We enjoy far more comfortable living circumstances. Yet we have the same struggles in life. And the struggles relate to how we see ourselves and the world around us. Whether we experience peace, joy and contentment, or whether we experience a life of darkness. Likewise, the churches here struggle with some of the same issues about style of worship, personalities, etc. Humanity and the global church are the same, no matter where we live. The difference is that as Christians we have a relationship with a God who loves us.
As we have these experiences here, Paul’s desire to be with the global church resonates with us.
“First, I thank my god through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will they way may be opened for me to come to you.