What a day.
I’ve been a little confused as to my purposes here this week, because they’ve been many. I’ve spent a lot of time with folks that Current – A Christian Church supports. I’ve had the cool opportunity to teach in the seminary on youth ministry and other subjects. In this way, I’ve been here as a youth minister from Katy, Texas, encouraging missionaries with whom my church has a relationship.
I’m really thankful that I got to spend time today wearing my hat for The 25 Group. I saw several churches and returned to The Hole and did plenty of stuff worthy of another blog post. I’ll get to that later.
The highlight of my day was visiting with Pastor Nico in Los Perez, at the church and nutrition center supported by The 25 Group.
This is the nutrition center. Today, about 70 kids filled it and had a decent meal. For most, it was their only meal of the day. Some rice, some protein, and a vitamin supplement are what they receive once a day, six days each week. They also are able to get water from the water filtration system that was installed recently.
This is the sign in sheet they use to keep track of who comes and when. It’s real people benefitting from this ministry. Many of their fathers work in a shoe factory where they earn a meager $40-$50 per week. The 25 Group has committed to fund this nutrition center for a year. the cost is $1600 per month. We’re paid up through April, but I’d like to get them the rest of the money asap.
I’ll save the arm-twisting for another time. Right now I just want you to know if you have given that the money you’ve donated is going right where it should. There’s no waste, and Pastor Nico is well respected by everyone in this community and in this mission. He is a tireless worker, building the nutrition center and kitchen with his own two hands. He’s a creative thinker that is working hard to reach out to folks in his community. His latest brainstorm is a good one — pouring concrete floors in houses in the neighborhood (most have dirt floors) and taking that opportunity to share about the love of Jesus.
This ministry may not be anything fancy, but it is effective. When we pulled up in our van, there were kids running all over the place. It was obvious they loved this place. Smiles and laughter were prominent features in the group. Though we missed the main feeding time by just a few minutes, we had a couple of very willing models who got their plates late.
When we got in the van to pull away, I was filled with gratitude for the good work going on here. It’s hard to grasp the desperation of these people without seeing it with your own eyes. It is also hard to comprehend where these children would be without this ministry. Make no mistake, God deserves all the honor for this work. But you deserve some thanks for your generosity. You are helping to shape lives with your donations.
The room was empty when I took this photograph, but just moments before it was filled with dozens of kids benefitting from the partnership between The 25 Group, G.O. Ministries, and Pastor Nico. I had the privilege of seeing it first hand, and I’m incredibly grateful to each of you.
The highlight of my day today was when I told Nico there were over 90 people in the United States who believed in what he was doing in Los Perez so much that they gave cheerfully toward this work. I shared with him what an honor it was to partner with such a faithful Kingdom worker. I encouraged him that he was doing a good work. I told him we were praying for him and rooting for him. His smile was obvious, and what he said next I wanted to pass on to you:
“This is God’s work,” he told me through translation, “It is all for Him. We are all doing it for Him.”
It reminded me of Matthew 25, the founding passage of our nonprofit organization:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food,” Jesus said in Matthew 25:35.
And when people objected, asking when they had ever done such a thing, he responded in this way:
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Thanks for giving to The 25 Group. Thanks for giving to Pastor Nico. Thanks for giving to these children.
Thanks for giving to Jesus.