with all that has been going on since thursday evening, i have had no time to write at all. time has slipped by and i have only 2 more days at home. it has been filling to meet my family and spend time with two of my dear friends whom i have not seen for a long time. stories were exchanged. i know God is in control.
yesterday, i was helping my friend, heidi, teaching conversational english to a group of ladies living in a slum nearby ramkamhang university. when we walked into that little alley way and stood in front of a shack, my heart almost stopped as well. the place looked more like a ruin than a house. there were rocks and rubbles scattered all over at the entrance. junks were everywhere. as we looked inside, we were greeted by a stern looking lady, who was sitting on the floor weaving a colorful purse made out of plastic bags. beside her was a mentally challenged boy, who squealed, shouted and talked away with us about something he only knew.
i wasn’t prepared for that. the night before, i was staying at a condo suite, all furnished and luxurious. this was even less than less. suddenly, i felt out-of-place and a bit nauseated. now, i know it is a bit unfair to say this since i am working with an organization that helps the poor. but every time i visit compassion projects, i know beforehand what to expect and have time to brace myself for it. this was different. although i knew that this area has been ministered to by ywam, and that the girl who was with us has been well acquainted with the ladies before, it was intimidating.
i was no longer a “compassion headquarter” ‘s representative. i was in for real, vulnerable and exposed. that was what made my heart thirst. this was exactly what i have dreamt of – to be on the frontline, in the midst of hardship, ministering to people.
heidi was a great teacher. i am not sure if i could have done what she did, especially loving her students right away and also the mentally challenged child. initially, there were to be only 2 women but we ended up with 5. heidi started with the introduction like hello, what is your name, where are you from and how old are you. it was very inspiring to see how the ladies were eager to learn to speak. then we ended the session with the song called “deep and wide”, pointing to the love of Jesus.
being in a place like this brought me to the reality – that this is what the majority of people have to endure. skyscrapers, air-conditioner, home theaters, hi-speed internet and cars are only illusions. people are trapped in these luxuries and called themselves “better off”. the truth is, what they own is not even theirs. there will be one day when one is stripped out of everything. and all that is left is bruised soul.
although the poor may not materially own anything, they have the guts to confront with the harshness of life. i do not intend to call everyone to sell all their possessions and live with the poor because i believe God has given us what we have to serve His purposes. but it is a wake-up call for us to look hard at our own life and be true to ourselves. worldly possession is to pass. what are we going to do when there is nothing left to enjoy? what then do we do with what we have? we can say, “tomorrow may never come. so let’s enjoy the moment! eat, drink, party!”
have you ever seen one so skinny scrounging food from garbage dump?
do not take what you have as granted. the Lord gives and takes away. let us bring what we have to do His will, to make this world a better place.