Several years ago I was privileged to be part of a mission team to Monterey, Mexico. Our goal was to make physical improvements to orphanages, love on the children living in them, and witness to the villagers living in the communities around the orphanage.
One of the orphanages we visited was fairly remote, requiring several hours of travel from our base camp and a two night stay. The second day we were there, the Carlos and Martha (houseparents at the orphanage), a team from Back2Back Ministries (the mission organization we partnered with), and our church team made our way to another nearby village.
The event was similar to a street festival with free food, games, music, clowns, and lots of people. The Word was preached and testimonies from the team were given through an interpreter. Some of us went door-to-door throughout the little village to invite people to come.
Near the end of this event, two carloads of us traveled another hour to an even more remote village. The town, if you could call it that, looked abandoned as we entered. The make-shift homes sported ragged strips of cloth for doors. Each one had a small clay oven in the dirt yard for cooking. A community well was the only source of water for the villagers.
The folks from the orphanage bring clothes, shoes, underwear and socks to these villagers three to four times a year. Even though there were no signs of life, we set up the rickety tables that would hold the wares we brought. A boom box and amplifier soon spread lively Christian music through the air.
That’s when it happened. Like hungry ants moving toward a picnic lunch, young and old poured out of those huts and gathered near the tables. Excited mothers held clothes for each of their children, broad smiles on their faces.
The shopping completed and sweet smiles of satisfaction on faces, I was pleasantly surprised as everyone stayed for the singing and preaching that followed. Martha opened her Bible and read scripture as a blazing 110 degree sun beat down on her.
At one point, still delivering the message, she closed her Bible and held it over her head to shield herself from the sun. That’s when God nudged me and whispered, “Don’t miss this lesson. It’s for you.”
Do you think of God’s Word as a means of shelter from life’s heat? I don’t think I did until that day. I knew it would offer light for my path and answers to my questions, but a place of shelter?
I’ve thought about the lessons of that day many, many times. I’m thankful God chose such a concrete, visible way to teach it to me. My heart is full of joy because He thinks I’m teachable.
Going out with joy today, sheltered in His Word-