“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37
As I reflect on this verse, I am so often reminded that millions of children throughout Latin America (and around the world) have never truly known what childhood is like. They have been forced by life circumstances to fight for survival. Many have been born into poverty and/or oppressive situations that have not only robbed them of their childhood but also of joy and happiness! Many people do not know, want to know, nor want to be involved in their life situations… and yet I believe that these are the very children that Jesus is calling us to welcome in His name!
I was “One of These.” I was born into an oppressive situation. Praise God that He has welcomed me, rescued me, soften my heart for these children, and given me the ability to be able to love on and help them to know a better life! I am currently in Guatemala, and have just finished leading Abogar’s second Xposure Xperience here. I want to share with you another story of “One of These.”
Chepe (Jose) is 14 years old. Though he does have a family, its a very rough one, as he lives in extreme poverty. Chepe works 12-14 hours every day, shining shoes in the middle of the city of Xela, Guatemala, to bring money home to help his family survive! Chepe is a child, one of a multitude, who never was allowed to be a child. Last Thursday, October 24th, I had the privilege of sharing my testimony with a group of about 40 people, several who were children who work in the streets in Xela. Chepe was in attendance. After an hour of sharing my testimony, I closed the time in prayer and then got to spend some time with him. His eyes were red from crying, and I really sensed that God had used my story to touch his heart! I shared with him about how God desires to be Savior and Lord of our lives, and asked if he knew Jesus in this way. He told me no. In the next few minutes, with the help of my brother and co-laborer, Julio (who works for innerCHANGE), we got to lead Chepe in the prayer of salvation and the prayer of surrender and service to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!! We got the tremendous pleasure and privilege to welcome Chepe into the family of God, and to love on him!! Please pray for Chepe to know God more, and for God to provide a way for Chepe to know a better life!
This trip here to Guatemala has been such an amazing Xposure Xperience (http://abogarim.org/x-posure-trips/). We have had the opportunity to welcome so many children in the name of Jesus into the Kingdom of God on this 10-day trip, and I am so overwhelmed by God’s desire to use Abogar for His glory! Please pray, not just for ‘one of these’ but for all the beautiful children who have encountered Jesus as we have welcomed them and loved on them in this trip! Pray that Chepe and all the others will remain true and faithful to walk with God in the commitments they have made, and remain partnered with the great Christian organization(s) that are local to them! We welcome them, and we know Jesus does too!! Praise God!