He lived here; He stayed.

* From a note by Gayle Procopio

Although I didn’t think I could add anything to what has already been written so beautifully and well by everyone else who has been here to help, I have been struck with one powerful thought over and over since the clinic day in Cambuim…

We went in to Cambuim, set up the table and tent and medical supplies, and tried to provide some help for the infinite variety of health problems of the people waiting for us. Trying to establish order, then maintain it so Lori, Noreen, and Nildete could work more effectively, was not easy, and I felt a little like the disciples who were trying to keep the crowd from thronging the Lord, or the children from swarming Him.

And He said, “No, let them come.”

Which got me thinking more and more about how He worked with everyone in need. He didn’t need anyone to diagnose the problems for Him – He went straight to the heart of their deepest needs spiritually as well as physically, and in His power changed their lives forever.

As we packed up after a few hours in the hot sun and dirt, got into the truck, cleaned our hands with the sanitizer, drank the now warm water in our bottles, and turned on the AC as we left to go to a comfortable, clean house not surrounded by garbage, without a horse or a goat in the entryway, I realized Jesus didn’t pack up and go away, and then return the next week. He left a place infinitely more wonderful than we can begin to imagine, loved by every being who inhabited it, and came to a world that was the equivalent of a favela – and worse, I think from the descriptions of Nazareth and the reputation it had, He was actually living in a favela.

Our sin and filth and garbage must have offended His senses daily – but He lived here; He stayed. And somehow, in a way we can’t understand, He learned from those years here in this polluted piece of His universe, and will never get tired of helping us overcome that filth every day.

But I kept thinking about having those very neighbors and co-residents of the favela, us, NOT be grateful and thankful, but reject Him, and ultimately kill Him, in spite of His coming to save, and in His everlasting love and mercy He died to be able to forgive us and remove us completely from that realm. So how can we not worship Him every time we think about that, every time we see a slum or favela, every time the dirt and need and conditions seem overwhelming!


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