Even If

Yesterday, our daughter, Megan, asked us to listen to a song by Mercy Me called, “Even If.”  It was perfect for the Bible study this morning.  We read John 20:24-31 and talked about Thomas.  I said, “Jesus appeared to His disciples three times after the resurrection.  The first time was Sunday, but Thomas was not there.  The disciples told Thomas, ‘We have seen the Lord!’  But, Thomas would not believe unless he saw the wounds.  He wanted proof the Lord was alive.  Are we not the same?

“Many of the children who have been here for awhile have seen how God has blessed Casa, blessed us, provided for us and have listened to many testimonies of others.  Yet, they still don’t believe.  When we have problems in our lives, relationship problems, temptations, family illness or death of a loved one…sometimes, we question our faith, our beliefs and even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want proof.  We want answers.

“Like Thomas, until we “see” we will not believe.  However, our Lord does not have to prove anything to us.”  Romans 1:18-20, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  I said, “Jesus didn’t have to prove anything to Thomas, and He certainly doesn’t have to prove anything to us.

“When we have doubts, we need to pray.  We need to believe, even if…In the song, we hear these words: ‘I know You’re able and I know You can, save through the fire with Your mighty hand.  But even if You don’t,
My hope is You alone.’  Even if our problems aren’t solved the way we want, even if our relationships aren’t healed, even if we fail, even if someone we love gets sick or a loved one dies…Our hope is in Him alone.  He is able and our hope is life with Him.  Eternal life.”  Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

At 8:30, the staff and children met at the school for the annual Christmas photo.  It wasn’t the same without Candy and our little one standing next to me.  Candy is in the States, and our little one was standing with her class. Honestly, I felt alone.  Yet, I know that I am not alone.  The Lord is with me.  I received a quote that said, “Some of the reasons you gave up were not because it was hard, but because you didn’t know you were winning.”  I had my struggles and will continue to have struggles, yet I know that as I continue to overcome these struggles, I will be stronger.  Stronger in my faith, my hope and my love.  They say, “Winning isn’t everything,” but when the Lord is on our side, it feels good.  If the Lord is with us, who can be against us?  If you ask our little one for her favorite verse, she will tell you, Joshua 1:9, “God is with you everywhere you go!”  When we have struggles, it is comforting to know that “The battle is the Lord’s.”  We have to trust in Him.

After dinner, our boys had thirty minutes of playtime.  I sat down and three of our former leaders, who are now in Buen Pastor, sat down beside me, and we just talked.  It is good to maintain the relationship that we had when they helped us in our dorm.  Just like old times.

All His,

Lee and Candy

 

 

Clothing the Naked

The Christmas phot was finished in less than 30 minutes. Getting 500 people still for that time is a chore.

Our land paperwork was filed with the judge today so in 5 weeks we should have all of our land in Santiago registered as two pieces of property instead of 9. That will make paying taxes much easier.

Alex, our son, is sub-director and dorm father to the older boys

Feed the hungry, give water to those who thirst and then Jesus says Clothe the Naked. What is He referring to? Obviously there are many people who have little clothing. We have children who arrive at our gate with only the clothes on their back and usually we have to burn them. So, of course, He is referring to literal clothing on the backs of the poor.

But I believe He is also referring to clothing people with dignity. One of the greatest needs in the world is to be accepted and loved. Children here at Casa may be here for years and say to me 15 years later, “Why did my mother not want me? What is wrong with me?”

It can also be that nakedness refers to a loss of purity, virginity and self-worth. He created us for more than premarital sex, stripping, bikinis and divorce. Take away a person’s dignity and they are destroyed. We see that in the horrible child pornography and sex trafficking.

God is saying that we are to treat the opposite sex with respect & kindness. We should never humiliate anyone the way that Jesus was humiliated as He hung on the cross totally nude and exposed to every taunt and ugliness imaginable to mankind.

He chose to be like us and not come to earth as a king to live in a palace. He chose the lowly position and if we are to be like Him we must do likewise.

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