Several months ago news report told the world of yet another natural disaster. This time in northern Pakistan. Unusually high seasonal rains overflowed local rivers and streams — at one point covering one third of all Pakistan —devastating land, animals, structures and millions of lives. World Challenge immediately responded by partnering with local believers, whom themselves were affected, to reach out to thousands in desperation. It would be like the effects of Hurricane Katrina but multiplied many times over.
Recently I was sitting in the living room of an average Lao house, but with a less than average group of men and women. This small group's history has been one of loss and trauma due to many years of alcohol and drug addiction. As a result, families have been broken, pregnancies have occurred, abuse has become the norm and these lives were considered wasted and permanently ruined.
In this particular country within Central Asia, the government does not recognize mentally or physically-challenged kids. They are thrown into orphanages early in life. They are not touched, caressed, or hugged; and barely fed. They are there to die without anyone noticing. Their parents only return to bury them.
We were traveling by SUV over the worst roads I’ve ever been on; up and over mountains which had very little vegetation or soil due to massive deforestation. Haiti is typically known as the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with two-thirds of its population not having a formal job; but we had traveled there to visit a few programs that were making tremendous strides in reaching communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in training its people how to change the health of their community in spite of apparent lack of resources.
The trip to Cairo was incredibly fascinating. We can read books about it, check the Internet for a country profile, or learn its history but it’s the people and their stories that bring it to life and made a big difference.
I just returned from a short trip to Medellin, Colombia and I am blown away at God’s faithfulness to those who co-labor with him in his field.