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RICH IN FAITH

Taylor Gerlach, 16

Black Man Eddy Village IMG_7358Last winter, I was in Belize on a mission trip. The friends I made in Black Man Eddy Village were barely making it from an economic point of view. Their houses, fashioned out of miscellaneous building materials (my favorite was an old school bus), were proof of their poverty. However, their constant joy, hospitality, and kindness were reminders of their spiritual wealth. What they lacked in possessions, they made up for in faith.

Taylor in Belizean classroom IMG_7716I used to think of the underprivileged as people who were not able to provide for their material needs. But spending time with my Belizean brothers and sisters in Christ has given me a new perspective. While finding food for their families was a daily struggle, praising God and resting in God’s peace was never a problem. They taught me the importance of focusing not on material needs or on my financial situation, but on God and on enriching my spiritual life. Now, I think of the disadvantaged as people who don’t have God in their lives. And I feel called to help those who are just getting by spiritually as well as those who are barely making it economically.

 

Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?
James 2:5b (NRSV)

Taylor-Belizean boy

THINK ABOUT IT: List people who are economically disadvantaged. Make another list of people who are spiritually underprivileged. What are some simple ways to help people whose needs are financial? spiritual?

—from devozine (November/December 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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