Everywhere you look there are children, people, cars, dogs, trash blowing across the road, busses racing by....a constant sea of movement. There are buildings being constructed, people at work, something for sale, a noise that never ceases; always a rush.
But what for? People work hard in hope that opportunity will come, but sadly enough, for many here in Sucre, it seems that it never does.
We met with Esperanza, a mother of three who works hard all day, every day, handwashing laundry and still just barely getting by. We assumed she was single by the way she spoke of her "son's father." But none of us had the heart to ask. She lived in the heart of the city but spoke as if she were all alone. The only family she mentioned were the "cousins" of her children, as she called them, from her "boys' father's family". To get to her humble dwelling we climbed over a concrete guardrail, at a random spot off a steep embankment from a busy road, down a shaky set of rusty steel and plywood stairs. It was a tiny, hidden community unto itself, no more than five ramshackle dwellings. You never would have known it was there. It left us wondering how the women of FH had ever found it?
There were children, dogs and hanging laundry amongst the rubbish and mess. Yet children’s eager faces greeted us, hoping for a sponsor`s letter or even better, a visit! All three children were FH sponsored children and seemed more optimistic than most.
But on Esperanza's sad face, there was loneliness and exhaustion, embarrassment that all she had to offer her guests was Salvetti soda, one of which she provided in a wooden bowl because she had no more cups.
Though we knew that our 20-minute visit, gift of school supplies and simple words could not erase that, before we left we covered Esperanza with our prayers. What else can you do when you feel impossibly inadequate?
God's grace covers what we cannot.
His love was a hopeful light in Esperanza's dim, damp, single room dwelling. She smiled as we left, asking us not to forget her. It was heart wrenching.
How could we possibly forget?
Just as her sad face and situation was a profound example of those need, Jesus is a profound example that we NOT FORGET those in need.
"And the King will answer them,`Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
Just as Sucre felt like a city that would never sleep, I prayed that we would be a people that would never forget. That we would remember her as a member of the family of Christ and continue to lift her up in prayer.
It left me wondering, what will we do for the least of these? In a world that moves too fast, where distraction abounds and we race to keep up, how will you and I serve, how can we pray and be a people that never forgets?
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.