At the time of this writing, I am in Costa Rica.
During this past week a group of volunteers from New Beginnings worked among the indigenous people in the mountains, where we helped construct a place of worship. We worked alongside workers from Brazil, Peru and, of course Costa Rica.
Most of the indigenous residents are very poor. They sleep on bare floors without mattresses. They have very limited diets from what is produced in the mountains, and they live without electricity, bathrooms or any other modern convenience.
While there, we slept in tents that leaked when it rained, had to use an outhouse, specifically made for us, using black plastic with a hose. And if we wanted a shower we went to the river or behind the plastic with a hose.
I believe we learned some valuable lessons: First, people can be happy without what we consider the necessities of life. It gave us a greater appreciation for the things we have.
There are still many needs to be met in our world, spiritual, medical and financial. We can’t meet every need ourselves, but we can start somewhere.
We have a group already planning to go back next year to do a vacation Bible school and to provide a medical clinic. In Matthew 9:36 we are told that when Jesus saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion, this caused him to see the needs around him and do something about them.
As we follow the example of Jesus, may the Lord help us to possess this same compassion and see the needs around us and be active in helping to meet those needs.