The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.”
God chose Abraham and chose to bless him. The blessings, i.e. make you into a great nation, came with great responsibilities, wealth, all people on earth will be blessed through you. Abraham was blessed to be a blessing. The blessing came with a bottom line responsibility. We studied scriptures that point to this truth………..with blessings come great responsibility. Our obedience reflects our faith. Saved by grace, not by works.
After the devotion, we went with Lucy, Demisella, and Esaias, to visit a local dentist in Tabitinga, Brazil, a city bordering Leticia. The dentist is a blessing to the kids at La Aljaba, as she works on the children’s teeth for free. We were able to visit her and help build the relationship with La Aljaba, as we told her how good the kids’s teeth looked and how much we appreciated her. We shared with her a little bit about our devotion. Blessed to be a blessing.
Next, we headed back to La Aljaba, where Jeff talked to the kids about oral hygiene and the importance of brushing your teeth. As Jeff told the kids, just like a toothbrush cleans your teeth, Jesus Christ cleans your heart.
In the afternoon, Jeff and Jeremy did dental work at Pastor Julio’s church, while we played the Jesus film in the waiting area. As they saw the patients, they were able to have some great fellowship with some of the staff at the church. The guys continue to help build key relationships in Leticia through the dental work.
In between the events mentioned above, we hung out with the kids at La Aljaba. Football, soccer, sitting, holding, hugging, laughing, tag, frisbee, swinging, and more. During our initial meetings about the trip in Fayetteville, there was a bit of apprehension about playing with the kids at La Aljaba for hours on end. How would they react? How would they respond to the language barrier? No more apprehension. When Jeff and Jeremy walk the through the door, voices yelling “hermanos” ring through the air, as kids jump into their arms. Great fun!
I had a moment during the day to spend some time with Vanny, a girl that my daughter Riley fell in love with on a trip last year. Vanny comes from the Barrio, a poor village in the Amazon Jungle. When I first met Vanny, she would not look me in the eye. She seemed frightened by men in general. However, a couple of years later, when I brought my daughter Riley to La Aljaba, everything changed. It was as if she thought that I must love her if I cared enough to bring my daughter to see her. From that moment forward, every time I enter La Aljaba, she runs to me for a hug. Our relationship is like father and daughter. Today, we read some verses in the Bible, pointing out God’s grace and about Christ’s love for us. I asked Vanny to share with me her favorite verse. She turned to Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Wow! To me, as I look at her life from a material standpoint compared to the United States, Vanny lacks a lot. However, the truth is that Vanny lacks nothing. She has Christ. In a US world of TV, iPods, and the best of everything, Vanny grounded me. She is a picture of what the work of La Aljaba is doing in the lives of these kids. Vanny was left in the jungle with no hope. Through Jesus Christ, she now has hope, security, and confidence.
God is good.
Thanks for praying.