Monday, April 11, 2011

Moving Out and Moving On

Two months with live-in program participants have quickly come and gone. The young ECA ladies have all moved out, two (Mirna and Mirian) to the "big city" and one (Kelly) remaining here in small town Valle de Angeles. Danilo has hung around a bit longer helping to keep an eye on our place while we we traveling. But today we finally moved him out and into a place he's sharing with a friend. Their place is also fairly close by. Imagine moving with only a few boxes and bags. No need to rent a truck or call all your friends and neighbors to help. The down side, of course, is that even a rather small room can look pretty bare after the move-in. This is the "starting out" situation for our young people. It can be bit difficult to resist the urge to buy or give them what they don't yet have. Some of our planned financial assitance has helped them obtain a few basic items. But we hope they will appreciate their things more and take better care of what they get if they themselves are able to earn them.

Mirian (and Janelle) with a little housewarming gift

Mirna shows off her cilantro plants

A good start. Will they survive?

Kelly in her new residence.

In front of her room(s).

Danilo packing up with the help of his new roommate, Jose Luis.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clay Vessels

"We have this treasure in clay vessels, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God." 2 Corinthians 4:7

This treasure, the light of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father, is within us, who are weak and sometimes cracked, broken and mended vessels. Sins we commit, circumstances that happen to us, choices we make can crack us, sometimes even shatter the weak vessels of our hearts, minds, emotions. When we seek God, ask his forgiveness, search for his help, he comes, heals and mends. Sometimes in his infinite mercy and grace, God makes the break or crack "disappear." You can't even see a scar, praise the Lord!

But, sometimes, the former break is still visible-a scar, a faint line, maybe even small missing pieces. I don't think this is a mistake or a lack of faith. I think that, if we allow it, the treasure that we carry, the light of Jesus, shines even more brightly through these cracks, these small holes. God wants to use all things for good. God wants to use our past, our mistakes, our hurts to draw others to him.

We can understand their current pain and disillusions because we were once there. They may be more willing to open up and share with us because they can see the truth of our empathy as we are open and honest about our own suffering.

Our weak and mended vessels are whole, beautiful and sanctified by Jesus' sacrifice, praise the Lord! And God wants to use everyone to bring honor and glory to his name and to draw many more to him.

God, may your light shine even more brightly in and through us because of our past, our hurts, our broken parts, not in spite of them. May we allow your Spirit to use all of us to draw others to you.