Tuesday, November 26, 2013

They Give it All

It has been happening for years all over the country of Argentina and I suspect in many other countries around the world.  Nobody takes much notice of them.  They are Christian families that dedicate their lives to reaching out to the needy with the love of Christ.

Joel and Lily Diaz are one couple among the many.  Joel is principal of Menoyo Christian School nestled in what was at one time an economically depressed area.  Antonio Menoyo, a wonderful generous brother, along with his family, invested in a full square block to build this top class kindergarten, elementary and high school to transform the youth of this area. 

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of ministering to these students, just as I have many times in years past. Kinder-kids will never forget petting a skunk named Perfume.  

We had four separate ministry sessions with different age groups. 

Each of at least 20 students sat at computers in this high school classroom. 

Sharp looking seniors gathered around me to tell me how they remem-bered me with Felipe coming to the school when they were small.  Soon they will be university students, then launched into their careers as Christian young men and women.

But Joel and Lily, along with their two charming children, are not satisfied to be dedicating their lives only to the school. They have launched a ministry to kids in another needy area about 20 miles away. 

Children are hearing the message of Christ's love and lives are being changed. 

Their love for these little ones has brought some of their parents to the Lord, too.  The setting is simple.  A little building now serves as their sanctuary.  The children and adults sit on simple flat wooden benches.  Bible classes for different age groups meet inside another shelter further back on the lot and some in the open air.  Every child is given hot chocolate or tea and something to eat.  Joy overflows as they sing during worship time. In the above picture my nephew Dan Hiatt and his lovely wife Nancy are greeting the congregation, each with a young translator.  Dan and Nancy fell in love with these people. They have now returned to Seattle after five weeks sharing in my adventures.  
Additional treats are given to each one as they leave the premises.  All this was meant to be just a hand reaching out with the love of Jesus to touch another needy area, but almost unintentionally a new little church is being birthed and Joel and Lily are finding themselves in the position of caring for the flock. 

This story can be repeated all over this country in little villages and in the slums of great cities.  Nobody is publishing statistics giving credit to these dedicated workers.  Nobody comes by to pat them on the back and tell them what a great job they are doing.  It is just a part of their lives.  They have been propelled into ministry by the love of Jesus.  Nobody else cares… nobody except my Jesus. 

In my devotions today I read Jesus’ words: "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'  "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'  (Matt 25:37-40)

I have a new girlfriend.  Her name is Melisa.  She is as sweet as honey.  When I ate dinner with the Diaz family last week, Melisa clung to me and was almost in tears when I had to leave around midnight.  

Melisa, her handsome brother, Nehemias, their cousin Justina and a host of other little children will never forget Felipe, Perfume and an old man that came along with the package.


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