The stench of poverty waved through the air. It was thick as it took my breath away. My senses were overloaded, but oddly my heart was full.
It didn’t take too long for me to feel overwhelmed.
I think the heaviness of poverty hit the minute we drove in to Guatemala City dump communtiy. Then a sense of sorrow waved over my soul as I realized what I had to give was nothing compared to the need.
I immediately wanted to snatch kids up and find nice suburban American homes for them. I wanted to create schools — like the American kind. I basically wanted to make their city look like my city and then maybe I thought this overwhelming sense of burden would evaporate. If everyone could live as I do, wouldn’t that make it right?
And then I realized I was wrong.
Rescuing others from their place of home is not always the best. Taking children from moms just because they are having a hard time putting food on the table is not always right. And surely walking in to another’s world and trying to Americanize it must come across offensive.
But I was learning. My heart was screaming Something has to be done here.
I remember the angry, overwhelming feelings that stirred in the pit of my queazy soul. I wanted to “fix” the culture and smell, but I couldn’t. I wanted to erase the poverty. But staring it in the face I realized I was all wrong. Everything seemed wrong.
But the Potter’s House was right.
Tucked away in the thick of the city full of garbage, was a small building — a school, The Potter’s House, for the Guatemala City dump children. As I walked in the air seemed more fragrant and the light brighter.
Touring the building and getting to serve the children lunch I realized, this was the answer. We don’t need to make others fit in to our mold and society configuration, we need to teach them how to better their own culture.
These young children were doing that. They were getting great nutritious meals and learning academically. They were receiving love and giving love. They were full of love and joy!
I had just attended The Idea Camp where missionary after missionary talked about how we need to be the boots on the ground and learn to partner with those that live in the countries. We need to learn that it is not about raising children to our standards, it is about raising up their culture through education and jobs.
What a privilege to return to the Potter’s House knowing that children’s lives are being changed. I sponsored a child in February and have been a voice for this community since.
Our team went to be a voice for these children.
Sometimes a rescue comes when you reach out a hand to help. Donate a lunch. Sponsor a child. Will you reach out your hand to help? Maybe you don’t feel called to sponsor one of these precious children, but can you help with a lunch?
Our time was blessed as we played with children. We served. We painted. And through it all we didn’t realize the filth, dirt, and mess all around us. It was community coming together in love and the things that separated us began to seem so insignificant. The stench of poverty began to evaporate into the afternoon air.
Rescues aren’t about taking on the world of poverty. If that’s that case, we lose. Rescues, instead, are about extending a helping hand. Hand-in-hand becomes a win-win!
QUESTION: Can you rescue by reaching out? Can you help?
After wrestling with the word rescue for months, I decided to bring this word to life. I’ll expose the truths stirring in my soul regarding this daring, venturesome, and fearless word. Oh how I’d love your input too!