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The weight of our world…

Posted by on April 20, 2016


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  

1 Thessalonians 5:11

It’s a little hard to explain the feelings and emotions that we feel each day since last Saturday when the earthquake hit.  I feel like there is so much I want to say, but I’m not sure if it will articulate well, but I figured I would try anyway, because I need the release of letting it go and I’m sure people are wondering how things are.  You also may be thinking that because we are safe and sound, why are we so emotional?  I will do my best to explain…

Since Monday of this week, there have been meetings, a lot of meetings with the Covenant National Church of Ecuador, F.A.C.E., the Santiago Partnership and basically anyone in the area who wants to attend and be involved.  We have been working to plan how best we can help those on the coast that desperately, DESPERATELY need help.  These meetings are draining.  In all honesty, we don’t want to think about the things we are talking about.  We don’t want to imagine what people are facing just miles and hours from where we are.  I personally don’t want to think of women, children, families torn apart, children without parents, parents missing children or facing the reality that they will never see them again.  I don’t want to imagine the images that our fellow missionaries, pastors and lay people are seeing.  Because let’s be honest, it’s easier not to think about it.  It is easier to think about MY children who are safe and sound, MY family who is together over dinner to pray and eat together, to be silly together and to ‘be normal’.  It is easier than thinking of those families that have nothing, no water, no food, no families…no hope tonight.  I feel bad admitting that, but I feel it needs to be said so I can say this…

I remember when we lived in the States and there were natural disasters that were…”out there”, in Japan, in Haiti.  I remember being, well, jaded.  Knowing that because it didn’t affect me or those I knew and loved that, that was THAT!  I prayed of course, every once in a while I thought about it…at a distance.  But this isn’t a distance away now.  It is here, in my country.  It could just as easily have been our family who was lost and wouldn’t I want someone to help me?  To help us?  To find us, to bring us food, clothing, shelter?  How can I be different thinking of others now that aren’t far away?  Why has it taken an earthquake here to help me realize that?  It became clear to me this morning that because I remember what I felt like in the States with those disasters “over there” and those suffering across the ocean.  It didn’t faze me…I could look at pictures, see the loss, see stories of rescue and I wasn’t even fazed.  But now, being here, it is a whole new thing.  I feel like we are carrying the weight of our world, our world in Ecuador.  We have angst to help but want to make sure we help and not make things worse, we want to GO but we know we need to prepare before we do so.   It such a fury of thoughts running through our head that sometimes we can’t put our thoughts together once we get home.

We just prayed for Joel as he will be going to the Coast tomorrow to evaluate further action with other church leaders.  I looked into the eyes of our children and was so thankful for God’s protection and provision.  But we also think of those who are suffering.  The orphans, the widows, those who have nothing right now and we pray for them, we lament with them and we petition you to do the same.  I know it is far easier to not imagine what things must be like here, I know, I get it, I have been there.  But I ask you to go there.  Go deeper and let yourself stand with those who are suffering here because this is what God calls us to.  Our neighbor which Scripture speaks about is not just our literal neighbor next door.  If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves as Mark 12 says, then we should be feeling what they feel, hurting when they hurt, lamenting and suffering when they suffer.  It’s not the easy way.  It is much easier to put it out of our minds, look the other way, “focus on the positives”, but we live in a world where bad things, awful and unimaginable things happen and as Christ followers, we must CHOOSE to love, choose to show compassion and mercy and build each other up.  Choose it today.

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