Friday, December 14, 2007


"Brad, what are your expectations for this trip?"


This was a question put to me by Walker Moore before he, Brent and I left on our trip for Peru. A question I must admit that I had been trying to avoid because I was trying not to anticipate...my anticipations too often tend to overshadow or even shape an experience and to be honest, maybe I was afraid of what the Lord would do with the experience (I know, how dumb is that?). This was my first trip out of the States (except for a couple of crossings into Canada over the years), certainly the first time I would be in a culture completely alien to my experience - where I would be completely reliant on others to even understand the basics of getting through each day; circumstances that primed my general anxiety disorder.


I was deeply humbled on this trip and overcome with example after example of how so little (in our eyes) can do so much. This is a country wherein most people seem happy to have 4 walls and (maybe) a roof; even the middle classes often live in what we in the States might consider poverty conditions. This is a country where $1,000 can pay for schooling or seminary for a year for 10 or more students who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.


This is also a country where the people are generally warm, friendly and very forgiving in my attempts to stumble through a few words of their language. These are people who are busy trying to survive from day-to-day and provide for immediate needs, but who will share what they have in a moment if you let them.


Brent shared briefly about our time at the BJ School and I'm sure we will be sharing more about this experience. We sat down with Pastor Luis at the BJ School at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony, he had wanted this time to share how the Lord had laid the idea for the school on his heart and to share his vision to see it serve even more children in a community of little hope. This man, small in stature but bearer of a huge heart, quit his paid job to develop this school in a neighborhood that has little except in the value of the people who live in it - a neighborhood known to be dangerous and one which most people avoid. In fact, as we had approached the school for the graduation ceremony I might have assumed (before coming to Peru) the neighborhood had been abandoned were it not for the people we saw milling about here and there. We continuously drove around mounds of rubble and trash as we approached the school.


Pastor Luis must walk 15 blocks from the school through this neighborhood to reach an area to catch a ride to his home. This is not something anyone does on a whim and his passion for the Lord and these little children was obvious.


There was so much that came out of our time and my heart is full so it is hard to limit my sharing, but one of things he shared with us was that when it came time to fill out the official forms to start the school he had to explain what "BJ" stood for and he realized that he didn't know, nor did he have time to find out. He wrote "Blessed Jesus" and that couldn't be more perfect. As Brent has shared many times, that is what BJ's life was all about and what ours should be all about.


In the eyes of the children of Peru there is a gleam of hope, of joy, of anticipation. We must do what we can for the people the Lord lays on our hearts-wherever they are- to be sure that their future includes the opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.


I came away believing even more firmly that we are handicapped much more by our possessions than they are with their lack of them. I saw object lesson after object lesson for my own life as we walked and motored the streets and roads of Peru, whether they were sand, stone or asphalt. We can see photos, films, hear stories...but until I experienced these things for myself it was never real to me in a way that reached beyond my mind to find my heart.


My answer to the question Walker had posed to me was that I hoped that through this trip the Lord would renew a sense of compassion in my heart. I believe that He has done so and more. He certainly has given me a great deal to think and pray over, shown me the need to refocus my priorities and resources and shown me first-hand what the passion of His workers is doing when they are obedient to his call.


It is easy to be overwhelmed with the needs we find in the world around us, but that can never be an excuse to refuse to act to be a part of the solution to those needs. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the Lord has given me these last 10 days and I cannot waste it. I appreciate Brent and Walker for allowing me to be a part of this trip.


Share today with someone who needs to know Him better.

Brad

7 Comments:

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Brad. That was great. I really needed that. God Bless

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad, your words warmed my spirit and renewed a drive to pursue missions. thanks for sharing.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Matthew Pritchett said...

Brad,
The scene that you describe takes me back to that day we spent at the BJ school, while also bring home the realization that nothing has changed and that others needs are just as real today as they were while our team was there. Thanks for you heart brother, and God bless!

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Stephanie Tankersley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Stephanie Tankersley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Stephanie Tankersley said...

WOW It is amazing how much Brad looks like Brent ,cool ,I hope you all are doing ok .I think and pray for you often.I am sorry i have not kept in contact.It is wonderful what God is doing through your family and through beej even a long after his passing.Not only would our Lord be proud and happy with you but BJ would be too. I love you all and a Merry Christmas to you and a joyous New Year.May god bless and keep you in his arms of love this season.

Stephanie= from Monrovia

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Johnson said...

Thank you Brad. That was great. I really needed that. God Bless  

 

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