Jaime is passionate. He is passionate to spread the gospel to anyone and everyone. This passion is convicting to be around. After all if a man gains the whole world yet loses his soul what does he have? Nothing, actually worse than nothing, he has eternal separation from God. The poorest person in this world who has a relationship with God through His Son has more than the richest person who has no relationship with God at all. The kingdom is not made of gold but of humility. Jaime gets this, and he gets this with a passion.
Who is Jaime? He drove the Peru Crew to our visit with two extremely poor families on the outskirts of Lima. He is church planter in Lima. He has a small house church. He is but one man; but his vision is to change the world with the gospel. Shouldn’t that be ours? Jaime has a great testimony and just flat out loves God. He calls himself a slave; a slave to Christ. Aren’t we called that too?
Jaime brought us to a church that is a project center for Compassion International for this town south of Lima. This church ministers to over 200 children and teenagers of extreme poverty. The pastor at this church has such a heart for this impoverished community. He wore a jacket that had the Greek word for slave (doulos) written on the back of it. He too considers himself a slave to Jesus Christ.
The pastor, his wife and son guided us through garbage strewn streets that are the home to jungle and mountain refugees who fled towards Lima when communist terrorism tried to topple the government some years ago. The guerilla tactics of communist uprisers threatened the very existence of these people. They fled the mountains, and now live in something that can only be generously described as shelter.
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The first family we visited had five children. They live on next to nothing. They have nothing. As we gathered in their shelter, Jaime walked by me and said, “Welcome to the real world.” Where I come from is the real world too, but I got his point. What we were seeing was real and there are millions of people who live this way.
Our Compassion interpreter shared some information about the family with us. I asked the interpreter, “Can I pray for this family?” Then I thought, my goodness, how do I pray? This is gut wrenching. I have so much, 100% more than this family has. But, the kingdom is not of gold but of humility. The issue is not what we have or don’t have but do we have God. I prayed for their salvation, all the while holding back tears.
Martha Woodruff from our team then described the food and supplies we brought to give this family. The wife (the husband was working, he makes about $20 a week baking) could no longer hold back her tears. Love speaks even when the tongue cannot. Our simple gift, a gift that would barely be meaningful here in America, touched the heart of this woman. We embraced her and said our goodbyes. We will never see her, or her family, again this side of eternity, but when given one chance, one moment, to let our lives intersect we bathed it in love, the gospel and prayer. Isn’t that what we should do?
We ventured back out into the streets. We met our second family. The husband was home this time, only because he is sick and does not have much longer to live. This time I asked Ben Heale from our team if he would pray. As he did, again the tears flowed. We said our goodbyes, knowing that soon we would be back home to our air conditioned houses with 200 cable channels while this family will lose their daddy and perhaps never see a greater gift than the humble one we brought.
God do not let us lose sight of the real world, where people need Jesus. The world where disciples of Christ think more highly of others than themselves and where redeemed hearts have passion for the One who saved them from the extreme poverty of sin.
God may your salvation come to those two homes making them rich in Christ, amen.