Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blown Away

Sometimes I am just blown away by the things that go on behind the scenes. There are always two sides to life...the life that is seen and the life that is unseen. Here, the differences between those two sides of life can be extreme. I found out the other day that one of the older youth I'm friends with recently made a life changing decision...for the good. He had been playing around with the badboy/gangster lifestyle, to the extent that he was actually considering joining up with a heavy duty gang from up the road. It got to the point that he actually suited up one night for his initiation. They were planning to make an assault on a group of Columbians with assault rifles, bullet-proof vests, etc... As he was getting ready to go out, he backed out at the last minute and decided that this wasn't for him. It was about that same time that he was invited to our house church and began coming regularly. Now he's there every week, bible in hand and taking notes. He is learning to follow Jesus and his life is changing. What is incredible is that I would never have guessed it from this particular guy. He is soft-spoken, kind and gentle. We love having him in our home and have really enjoyed seeing his life change. That doesn't mean that he's safe. The temptations here are strong and the pull from friends and family alike is intense but thank God, he's made the decision to put those things aside and travel the way of Jesus. This is only one story among many that I am constantly finding out about.

As I learn more and more about this place and the struggles people face, I am amazed. I guess it backs up what Paul wrote when he said that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. We've had youth in our home that have robbed tourists and locals alike at gunpoint, but when they are with us they are polite and genuinely thankful that someone cares about them enough to spend time with them. To see them really interested in the things of God shows me that hope never dies.

Please pray for our team as we work and live here. We are going through some major changes as some long-term team members are returning to the States to continue their educations. This leaves us very dependent on God as we pray for Him to raise up locals and send down more likeminded people to join us in serving Puerto Viejo. Specifically, we need a person to take over all of the duties associated with bringing in Short Term Mission teams and our location administration. We are also looking for someone to take on the youth and skate ministries on a full time basis and finally, we are praying for a couple to come down and open the music cafe/coffee shop. Never in my life has it been more evident that the fields are white for the harvest but th workers are few. Please pray for the community and our team.

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