It’s so amazing how a world that is so familiar suddenly becomes so distant, just from being transported from one culture to another. I would urge anyone, no matter what you do in life, to immerse yourself, for whatever time period, into a 3rd world nation. It will change you remarkably for the good for the rest of your life. It will make your decisions much easier because you will have cultivated a much bigger perspective and wisdom. It will pave a way for things to come about in your life that you would otherwise never see, do or be.
When I was a young man growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan I believe somehow there was a seed of destiny planted within my spirit of deep resolution to get out of this small-town-mentality no matter what it took. I was intimately aware that I would only live one time on this earth and I had to know what was “out there” before I lodged into some way of life that would hold me down all my days. I praise God because the force of my will won out. We have just returned to the United States after a seven month, 5000 mile trip through the countries of South America.
For those who have been following our blog. We had to leave Montevideo, Uruguay because of the intense cold of their winter right now. We will return in their summer. My previous blog loggings recount many of our adventures. We have stood before hundreds of Colombian soldiers and high ranking Army Generals to share the love and forgiveness of the Ultimate Soldier Who was victorious over death itself.
We drove down so many horrendous roads to reach forgotten villages devastated by the cocaine lords of the FARC. Roads in Colombia are full of blind curves of the winding passes of the Andean mountains. We spent great heart in convincing Ecuadorian officials, steeped in a socialistic thinking, that our performance was something to help the common folk. We crossed the worlds most arid desert in Peru and Northern Chile.
We witnessed God’s power in forcing our way into one of the most corrupt and inhumane prison systems of the world. How many times we were told “No!”, “There is NO WAY!”. Yet we prevailed by the living Spirit of Jesus. We crossed the mountain pass of Aconcagua which is the highest mountain in the western and southern hemispheres at 22,841 feet. We visited a mountain observatory rated the No.1 star gazing spot in the world. We got no sleep but were filled with wonders of a sky beyond imagination. It was the same sight viewed thousands of years ago by a pagan named Abraham who gave birth to a substance we are fully dependent on today to live each day: FAITH (Romans 4).
Aside from all these physical wonders, we make an all out effort to touch the countless indigenous people along the way in the more remote parts of our journey. Everywhere we go, in large cities or remote jungles our goal is to bring God’s love in Christ. Many times there are those who would otherwise never experience a program of high-grade music, dance, magic, comedy and individual personal care my family of six adult children, my wife and I have worked years to develop. Who cares about strangers living in some remote village or a city desolated by a earthquake or landslide? Who? His Name is Jesus. He who fills and guides our moments.
So here we are, for a short time, zig-zagging across these American states declaring the same Jesus to the most developed country in the world. Different? Quite so. Anyone who does not think that culture deeply affects peoples is someone who does not have such experience. When one lives in a house, with a nice car and job, with a finely manicured yard and 300 channels of entertainment all their life they become one kind of person. When one lives in a hut or shack, working each day to survive, with goats and chickens as his source of food and no entertainment one becomes a different kind of person.
Yet the love of the Father towards each is consistently profound. The determining factor for the eternal destiny of each individual is not their life style or culture but their individual free will. The odds may be tilted in the favor of one being more open than another but God’s mercy is not dependent on odds. Thus we constantly find ourselves crossing the paths of a unique college student, business man, house wife or down-and-outer who has that special something towards an openness to Jesus.
We work very hard to formulate the exact right words on signs that we carry and pamphlets that we distribute. Not generic. Not typical. Not religious. “THE CHURCHES OF TODAY ARE A JOKE – LIFE WILL CRUSH YOU – CONSIDER THE LIVING JESUS”. Working so hard to reach the masses with the only hope to escape the inevitable doom about to fall on this condemned world. A new world is coming. A new government and culture of eternal life is now offered to those who are at their end. Who is this JESUS? What is His practical relevance to those caught up in the super mega hype of a world that has long ago been exposed as nothing more than the primary source of all men’s desperation?
Take care how you listen my friend. For when you least expect it, God’s voice comes as a beckoning plea to repent and seek His loving provision. It also carries a one time sobering warning of the consequences of rebellion and sin which is eternity in hell.
The blood of Jesus was not shed for nothing. There is a family here who bears witness that eternal life is a here and now proposition that degrades all propositions of this fallen world by a dimension of life beyond imagination. Those who would settle for less settle for going through the motions of a system called Christianity. Those who reach for the stars find the gift of faith leading them up and beyond a life bent on selfish ambition.
What about YOU?
For oour main website with our music, photographs, videos, teaching articles and more, see: www.ifanyoneisthirsty.com