Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Take-Away - Review #7

I've had some time to really think about the things I will take away from this trip to Peru. Certainly all the obvious things like...

- I am more thankful than ever for hot water, toilet seats, toilet paper, ice, diet coke, air conditioning, grocery stores, American food

- I am more aware of the abundance I have material possessions, in my family relationships, in America

- Lost people are everywhere...sin levels the playing field and the grace story hits the homerun

But there were a few less obvious things that I am taking away. These things have just hit me this week as I've had time to really think about the reasons God allowed me this trip.

- God allowed us to witness some of the most amazing scenes while we were passing out tracts and Bibles....things like women kissing the Bible they held in their hands, sailors stopping to read the tracts handed to them, a construction foreman hoping that we had enough Bible's for the entire construction crew. There was such a hunger....why? And I've been wondering about myself in all my hunger that great? Is there an eagerness to share? Is there an aggressiveness to be sure those around me have God's Word? Is there a passion to be sure everyone gets a chance to hear? What does this look like for me? Am I willing to send, pray and go?

This was a little disheartening to see...A study of 1200 towns in America....but no fundamental church to attend...For argument's sake...let say that in reality there is at least one church in 1/2 these towns, since it's not clear when the study was done....still...look at the results:

Bob Jones University Study: 

Smaller Cities and Towns — Church Planting

We have identified almost 1200 smaller U.S. cities and towns with no known Fundamental churches within a 30-mile radius, to the best of our knowledge. Additional on-site investigation would be needed to fully verify the need. Here are the cities and towns of 5000 and more with no known Fundamental church.

Does this concern me like it concerned me about the people in Pichanaki or Lima? Because it can't just be an emotional thing....I want to know the burden across the board....a realization that world wide there are people who don't know about this amazing love the Father has for us....about His willing Son who was sacrificed and about the amazing miracle of a risen Savior. I'm committing to pray for these towns...that God would send laborers into the harvest and I'm wondering how else can I be a part of doing something to help reach these people and the people in my own town who have not heard. 

I guess I just don't want to be let off the hook. I don't want God to leave me alone just because I am not moving to Peru. I want to be bothered by the faces of lost people where I am at this moment. I want to be burdened by poverty, prostitution, slavery of any kind and sin. I want to feel those same emotions and longings toward the people in Sulphur Springs and the rest of the USA that I felt in Peru. Those feelings of hope, longing, desire for them to know the one who gives eternal life. I want to be as free to love someone living next door to me as I did Rita, a Peruvian woman who ran a store down from the church we were working at in Pichanaki. But, for some reason, it's hard to picture Texas, or the USA for that matter, needing the same thing Pichanakiairconditioning with a toilet seat and toilet paper matters nada if we don't know Jesus and His grace....Location is nothing....relationship is everything.

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