For most of us reading this, it would hard to imagine keeping a family afloat for $260 a month, yet that is exactly what the average family of 6 survives on in the village of "El Cerrito". As if that weren't difficult enough the community is plagued by violence, and sits under the bridge that sadly has become Guatemala's most popular suicide destination… Just reading this probably has you feeling a bit more depressed than when you started, imagine waking up to this reality everyday. So what do you do? Should you allow hopelessness to immobilize us? Of course not, but how often do we? How often to we try to insulate ourselves from others hopelessness, so that we don't have to be bothered?
In the Bible, Jesus gave us the distinct privilege of being the ones who take His light to the World, but how often is it that sharing that light is the last thing on our minds? Jesus said the "you" are a city set upon a hill, a light to all the World, a light that should not be hidden. Seeing El Cerrito and the families living there is a reminder that people need what you have to give…HOPE! More than just the shoes that we gave the children yesterday, we endeavored to leave them with a message of hope; all week long we have been sharing the story of Queen Esther, and reminding the kids that no matter where they are, or what circumstances they face, God has a plan for them, that "He has created them for such a time as this" to be used by God. In fact, God used the children of El Cerrito yesterday, to show us that hope thrives regardless of our circumstances. We came to encourage them, yet it was God reminding us that life isn't about a pay check, or the size of our house, but the size of our heart. They were filled with such love, not only for God, but for one other.
As Christians, we are to embrace the ideals of "faith", "hope" and "charity", so often we do quite well with faith and charity, but we struggle with bringing hope, and yet it can be the thing that most often is the catalyst for change in someone's live. Hope can be a hard thing to grasp because it must be practiced through the virtue of patience, which continues to do good even in the face of apparent failure, and through the virtue of humility, which trusts God even in times of darkness. Often times we must be reminded of the promise of Hebrews 6:19,
"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God!"
When you cling to that hope, you can offer that hope to someone else in need, and before you think it takes going to a place like El Cerrito, think again. Hopelessness isn't a condition of socioeconomics, it is a condition of the heart. There are people that you know, that need the hope that you have, in Christ, so share it!
Thank you to Shoes for Orphan Souls and to YOU for helping us make this trip possible! If you would like to do your own shoe drive, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter.