Saturday, November 04, 2006

Don't Close Your Eyes

A little while ago Stephen asked me to go take pictures at a ministry that I didn't even know we had. I have been here working with him and Marcela for almost a year now, but there is just so much going on that it is hard to keep up with everything.

Every Saturday morning the director of our Torreon Rehab Center (Rescate Social), Gerardo, and some of the young men who are in recovery go to a neighborhood to give breakfast to the children there. This is no ordinary neighborhood.

It is called Cardboardland (Cartonlandia). It is just a few miles away from one of the most expensive, private universities and one of the wealthiest parts of town. It is a part of the city that I didn't even know existed. The cardboard and cinder block houses stretched as far as I could see. Many had newspaper for roofs and sticks for beams. Others had wood nailed poorly together with gaps in the walls. It literally makes me shudder to think about how cold the winter will be for these people. I have seen this type of poverty in other parts of Mexico, but never in this proportion and not in the city of Torreon.

We arrived and unloaded the car with the food. The families were already lined up waiting for us. It was a blessing to be able to see the kids and visit with them, and to be able to help a little against their poverty. They seemed grateful for the help and, despite their conditions, they were still smiling.

The long term plan of this ministry is to build a permanent cafeteria in the area so the children can come, be safe, and simply eat. Stephen and Gerardo are already looking at property. What an incredible vision!!!

Numbness is a scary thing. It happens even on the mission field. We become so used to our schedule, to our life, and the worries of our day that we forget that it is not about us. It is about Him, the one who gave everything, all his attention, all his life...for us.

So the challenge for all of us is to open our eyes. Be aware. It is so easy to see a picture of a child and say, "What a shame,'' and do nothing more. Let's be involved, be aware, and pray always for the greatest need of all: the salvation of the souls of these children.

Please be praying for Stephen and Gerardo as they further this ministry. I praise God for opening my eyes to this ministry and for touching my heart with the faces that need spiritual and physical bread.

Paul Ellsworth

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