Saturday, November 28, 2015
It was in the city of Bogota Colombia I was hit in the face with an ugly reality. It came in the form of an honest question.
I was housed a few days in the lovely home of an agnostic couple. They were the Youth Sponsors of the Union Church of Bogota Columbia. I remember walking into their home for the first time and noting their thriving marijuana plants in the hallway. They were on a U.S government grant examining the causes of poverty. It wasn't to be the warmest of hospitality, as they knew I was a Christian Youth Pastor. Indeed it can be rather chilly in Bog. The last morning we were eating breakfast together and the young man asked me what I did; what was my focus. I told him my passion for working with the poor in the barrios of Mexico. I remember well; he stopped eating, looked at me and said very clearly “You mean you are a Christian and you give a damn about the poor?”
To many Christians, the people we minister to are seen as a growing strata of human scum plagued by drugs and debauchery; forming an environment in which evil flourishes. They are right BUT as painful as it might be, someone has to enter this world of broken people. Their challenge to us? How dare you bring the light in! His light in itself reveals the ugly truth.
Below the boardwalk of life, one by one, we collect the people who fell through the cracks ... according to the Word of God, there are no worthless people!
I'm still plugging along among the poor. I'm more than aware of how my people are seen. They are comfortable in their darkness. Indeed Satan has a tight hold on them. But to God there are no worthless people ... It's simply God's will that someone enter their stinking world and love them, sharing God's grace; caution, coming as a light into their dark world is risky at best ... it makes a good target for the evil that exists. With God there is no area on earth that's off limits!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Last Thursday was Spectrum's workday in barrio Laguna.
Mari, is very poor and Spectrum's free vegetables are a real help. She's always glad to get them, but she had another problem. Her little boy was alone in the General Hospital, he just had surgery and she really needed to be with him but had no money for transportation; a couple of dollars would do it. Would some missionary giver her a little money for transportation?
She threaded her way through the crowd contacting several of the Christian missionaries telling them about her son Victor in the hospital.
The day before he was vomiting blood; she quickly took him, by local bus, to the General Hospital where they quickly operated on him. (I wonder what she felt like sitting on the at the bus stop holding her bleeding son while waiting for a bus?)
Mari simply needed a little cash for bus fare to visit Victor. Several Christian missionaries prayed with her but none offered her even the little money she needed for transportation. Prayers and sympathy are nice but ... some things take dollars.
Then a Mexican lady pulled Mari aside and said, "Go find Hortensia, she'll help you."
Word gets around.
Well, that's just what she did, and Hortensia listened to her story. Mari has four young kids and her husband is crippled and can't work. He gets a pension of about $90 a month. She earns a little extra by selling candies, tortillas and nopalis (cactus) When Victor, age 9, had his attack, she took him to the hospital, but then she had to return home to the children.
Alone in the General Hospital isn't a good place for a kid to be. No mother would want to leave her son in a Hospital alone. She wanted so badly to visit him, but no "Christian missionary" had even $2. To help her out.
Strange isn't it?
Well, Hortensia did give her the transportation money plus some food money for the family. People know we care. (I give Hortensia extra money to help on her Spectrum work days.)
I met Victor last Saturday, the day he was discharged from the hospital. He had lost a lot of blood. He was a little shy, but he let me pull his lower eyelids down and I saw he was still anemic. He needed good food and some red meat.. (Iron) So we made it possible for her to buy the food the doctor prescribed. In this case the proper diet was essential! Mari was so happy!
We appreciate those of you who make it possible for us to help in cases like this.
Sunday, November 08, 2015
Let's call her Sabrina; a young woman in Tijuana who wanted to have a baby, but she and her boy friend couldn't have one. Sabrina was determined to get a baby! A young lady friend of hers was two months pregnant.
Sabrina dreamed up a diabolical plan.
Sabrina cozied up to her pregnant lady friend. She often went with Maria to her hospital appointments with her doctor, she bought her little meals. They visited each other in their homes. The two became inseparable. Sabrina's plan was going well.
When Maria was about seven months pregnant, Sabrina invited her over to her house. At the house she killed Maria, cut her open and took the unborn child as her own.
Day's later Sabrina took the newborn child to the hospital to register him, in checking her, the doctor became suspicious, then the authorities were called and the whole story came out. Maria's bloody corpse was found among some cardboard trash in Sabrina's house. Sabrina's case was quick. She is doing fifty years in the penitentiary.
The little baby was given to Grandma along with Maria's two year old son. As soon as Hortensia heard about the tragedy she went to visit the Grandma. At first Grandma was tight-lipped and very apprehensive, but when she found Hortensia was not from the police or media, she opened the door. This was just what the lonely Grand-mother needed, a friend to be there to talk to. Hortensia wasn't there to simply listen and pray with her, but to help the poor lady out. Pampers, formula, blankets, food and love were all supplied. Hortensia is well known in Tijuana for just this reason ... she cares.