45 minutes and a million miles away

About 45 minutes away from my clean-cut American suburb is an area of my city where many (if not most) people live near or below the poverty line.  Our church helps to sponsor an organization that brings physical hope to many residents every week in the form of bread , and spiritual hope in the form of Bible studies.

Although I’ve known about this area for quite a while, I’ve never taken the time to really get connected with this ministry, and for the first time, I have realized why…

and really, it’s a dumb reason.

You see, when I travel on “mission trips” to places like Reynosa, I expect to see poverty.  My eyes adjust before I even arrive so that my heart can more openly respond.

When I drive just 45 minutes away from my house, my heart is not prepared.

I don’t expect to see people living in conditions hardly better than some of those in Reynosa.

Yeah, they have paved roads and American amenities… but beyond that, I might as well be a million miles away.  I know that there is poverty in the world, and I know it is my responsibility as one who loves Jesus to help.  It’s harder, somehow, to know that this happens less than an hour away from where I am.  I told you… dumb.

Today my family had the chance to help out in this area.

We didn’t do much… we just brought hope in the form of small Christmas toys for kids.

We didn’t even buy or wrap the toys.

We just delivered them.

We got to bring hope in the form of prayers today.

Several families were obviously struggling.  One woman was in tears talking about what it was like to raise her children and her grand-children.  One let us know that her husband had recently died of cancer. Several mentioned that there really wasn’t much money for Christmas gifts this year.  We prayed with them, and for their families.

The small toys we brought were lovingly placed under small trees to be saved for Christmas morning…

The BEST part about this morning was that we brought our kids with us.  They saw living conditions vastly different from their own.

It’s SO good for them to see that the bubble they live in is not every person’s reality.

It’s good for me to see too.

 

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