This morning I thought about the Good Samaritan. Do you know what I respect about that guy? He faded into the background. He didn’t hang around for kudos or praise. Taking care of the needs of the man was more important. And that’s what the amazing team at Compassion International does. It’s not about them. It’s about releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ Name. I stole that line from them. But it’s right and true. I saw the testimony of it. I held the hands of it. I walked the streets of it. I felt the weight and love of it.
A group of us spent last week in El Salvador. I promise I won’t write and post pics like one of those infomercials. You know the ones I’m talking about. My friend Brian spoke of ‘gratuitous poverty’ and that phrase stuck with me. I’m not here to barter one child’s story for your guilt. Instead, I want to share so maybe, just maybe, through a glimpse of a life, together we’ll trust the magnitude our choices can make in one life, one family, one community, one generation, one country.
Because one life surely changed mine. And the thought of him had me weeping yesterday. All day. So other drivers wouldn’t think I was nuts, at one point I turned the bass in my car up to drown the sounds of gulping tears. But I wish I hadn’t. I wish I’d cried louder so even one person had rolled down their window and asked me what was wrong. Instead of my sobs, I wish I would have shared with them about my trip last week.
That truly, one person can change a life. I know. I met Nixon.
He has a 100 watt smile. Is full of vibrant life. And so handsome in his perfectly pressed suit. A suit he irons in stifling 95 degrees. His care to honor us with this detail makes me cry.
Nixon. His mom sews the loveliest embroidered pillow cases. His sister playfully teases him. These three truly adore and support each other. Their genuine love makes me cry.
Nixon. Dreams of graduating from university. And starting his own company. To provide for his mom. She has gone hungry so her children would not. She has had to turn to a last resort to provide for food. A resort no child wants his mother to have to go to. That no mother wants to turn to. $3 a day buys food for half a week. Please pause and soak that in. His and her sacrifices make me cry.
Nixon. He and his family set a table fit for a king and honored us strangers there. And welcomed us in his home of bamboo and clay. Prayed for us out of a wealth of relationship with our God. Their humbleness makes me cry.
Nixon. Abandoned by his father. Tempted by gangs. Seduced by drugs. Surrounded by poverty. His hard and difficult background makes me cry.
Nixon. Captured by the Lord. Leads worships with fervor and joy. Preaches the Word with diligence. Forgives with abandon. His humility and passion makes me cry.
His life was changed by one sponsor. His life is now changing the lives of his mom and sister. His cousins. The 300 children in his program. His church members. His neighbors.
Y’all, my words aren’t very fluid today. There is so much I’d love to convey. But what I can say is this. It’s true. One person can change a life.
Makes me wonder what ever happened to the man the Good Samaritan rescued…