Rescued to Rescue (Day 2)
Love Like That
I was in a remote part of Rwanda visiting a community in extreme poverty. They had the highest concentration of HIV/AIDS in the nation — yet no medical resources. This was also a place where children were abandoned. Parents would leave the village to find work, never to return.
We had the privilege of handing out Bibles to people who had never owned one. They rushed to line up to receive their very own copy of God’s Word. The Scriptures were still so precious to them, in spite of their desperate conditions.
It was hot, dusty, dirty and by the end of the day I was tired, hungry, and to be honest, emotionally spent. I had just cleaned off my hands and arms to hold me over until I could get a good shower, when one of our team members said the village pastor wanted me to come to his home and pray over him and his family.
Now, I would like to say my immediate reaction was super spiritual. But it was not. I begrudgingly got back out of the car and started walking toward the pastor’s home. I quickly found myself standing before this dedicated pastor and his family in their modest village home and realized he wanted me … me … to pray over him. This pastor who shepherds a flock living in extreme poverty, with abandoned children everywhere, with people fighting HIV. He wanted me to pray for him. I was humbled and I was convicted. And then he proceeded to present me with a gift. It was in a bag, but inside I could see a jerry can … you know, those bright yellow jugs you see in photos of Africa that are usually used to carry water.
To my surprise it was honey. And, it was the largest jug of honey I've ever held and I'm sure the most valuable thing they could have given me. I realized that in the face of extreme poverty, this pastor and his family had poured out extravagantly and given me their very best. And I will never forget.
Maybe we all should give up our “honey” in the same way.
Sometimes “rescue” looks a lot like sacrifice. Loving others selflessly. Giving something away whether it’s a meal, your time, your resources. It’s all about love — extravagant love.
We need to learn to “love like that.”