Open your Bible to Matthew, chapter 10, starting at verse 40, and you will read “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. … if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” If I could rewrite those words today, you would read “if you give even a plastic bag to one of my followers, you will surely be rewarded!”
Today after children’s club, I walked through Carpio to visit a family. It had already started to rain, but that is normal (wet season April-October), so I continued on down the main street. But the rain kept coming harder and harder, and soon water was flowing faster and higher across the pavement, there was no way to avoid it. I ducked in a small grocery to get out of the downpour briefly. The shop girl took one look at my soaked pant legs and heard how far I had yet to walk; she went into the back and grabbed a couple of bags, pulled them over my sneakers and tied them carefully.
I must have been quite a sight after that: holding tightly to my black umbrella, pushing upwards against the sheets of falling rain, clutching my backpack to my chest, and trekking through streams of water with my green-plastic-bagged feet. Soon I turned off onto dirt roads and sloshed uphill through what was suddenly a small rushing river, to arrive at the house. Unfortunately, due to the pounding rain, no one could hear me shout or the telephone ring. I stood outside 15 minutes, finally I left, wading downhill through the same river, when I heard a noise and turned to see people waving at me. So–back up again, splashing straight through the water because I now no longer cared, my entire body and backpack were soaking wet.
What an adventure, just to get there! But it was worth it. God gave me some precious alone time with the two teenagers, Karina and Danny, and we were able to have an honest conversation about dating, kissing, sex, and God’s intentions for physical affection to be kept and treasured within the commitment of marriage–something they had never considered before. This is even more important when you realize that 13 year old Karina recently had a 19 year old boyfriend–a very common occurrence in La Carpio.
Please pray for our teenagers, that they would read their Bibles every day and seek to obey God’s word in all they say and do. Pray that they choose their friends wisely, and that they will walk away from bad situations. Pray that they will continue to trust in us, that we promote open and sincere conversations. Pray for the missionaries, leadership team, and young volunteers who are in place to listen, speak the truth in love, and to offer Christ’s mercy towards all who have sinned and are now turning back.