I lack everything and yet I lack nothing. This is the raw truth the children of Oak Ridge taught me.
For the past few weeks, the team and I have had the opportunity to partner with David Granada, a full-time missionary who was led by the Holy Spirit to live with his family in Oak Ridge, one of the most impoverished communities on the island.
The first thing I noticed about David was his passion to serve. He quickly shared his experience and gave some advice. Contrary to what most Christians would ask, he told us not to share the Gospel but to demonstrate it. He insisted that we not preach to people, but love on them.
If all else fails, use your words. —David Granada
There is a deep need for everything in this community— healthcare is expensive, the roads are nonexistent, the houses are dilapidated, clean water is scarce, electricity is rare, and there are no restrooms. When it rains, sewage floods the neighborhood due to the lack of a proper system. Families of 8 are living in a 200 square-foot house… The list goes on.
Because of the poor condition of the homes, walls grow mold easily and people of all ages are forced to live with asthma. Gabriel and I easily recognized that living with this condition in the USA is very different from living with this in a developing country. Gabriel also has asthma, so we asked his parents to fly in his extra medicines, inhalers and nebulizer so that we could donate to them.
Although very much appreciated and put to good use, our gift to them felt like it made little to no impact. It breaks my heart to know that the life for people here is normal; their needs seem never-ending. In that moment, I recognized that I could never fill every need, but I know the One who can and I wanted to share Him as effectively as possible.
There are very few things I could say that would make an impact here. I took David’s words to heart and they proved true. Piggyback rides, racing up hills, holding hands and laughter all communicated the love of Christ better than any eloquent sentence ever could. Our faith requires action, and sometimes that action is stretching your arms out for a hug.
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Matthew 25:35-36
I had to travel 2,000 miles just to learn this basic principle again. Although the needs of people around us are different, our response should be the same: to love in deed and in truth rather than our talk alone.
As of now, David and his family are doing as much as they can to provide better living conditions while sharing The Gospel, but donations are dwindling. If you would like to learn more click here. To take action and place a donation, click here.