International Ministries

Do You Act on Their Pain?

July 13, 2003 Journal

David and Joyce Reed, Mexico
July 12, 2003

We attended language school four years ago in Cuernavaca, Mexico.One of our Spanish teachers was Gisela.She is a beautiful woman in her early forties who also speaks English quite well, and has taken advantage of several cross-cultural opportunities. She is also a woman who has experienced much pain and hardship.This past week we received some news about Gisela through another missionary friend.Gisela's 22-year-old son Armando was in motorcycle accident.For two days he was left on a stretcher in a hospital corridor because it was unclear who would be responsible for his hospital bills.Because he did not receive immediate care, he had to have a leg amputated above the knee.Armando is not a Christian.I would echo our missionary friend's sentiments: "My prayer for him is that this accident and loss would lead him to re-evaluate his life and to seek and find the Life-Giver, Jesus Christ."But we would also ask for prayers for Gisela who grew up Catholic and still struggles to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.How she lives out her faith during this traumatic situation will certainly have a powerful effect on many around her.Pray that God would strengthen her daily.Pray that she would truly let Christ reign in her heart.

Cuernavaca is not some little remote village of Mexico.It is a city of over 1 million people.Many of its medical personnel have even trained in the United States.This knowledge makes me even more angry and frustrated at what happened to Armando.He got caught in a system where the "pay-off" became more important than his human suffering and need.But while it is easy to empathize with the injustice of this situation, how many of you will say a quick prayer for Armando and then . . . forget him?I include myself in this question.Armando's story is but one of many desperate stories from around the world.It is easy to be overwhelmed by the extent of the darkness and pain that infuses our world.

But what would happen if each one of us decided to act on the pain of one of those stories?Let us not be naïve in thinking that no one in our own United States suffers similar agonies.Poor people are always in the margins when it comes to receiving adequate health care, educational resources, and employment opportunities.What am I trying to say?You don't have to be a missionary in Mexico to find marginalized people.Who are the Armandos or Giselas in your life?Who do you know that desperately needs the light of Christ, the love of Christ, spilled into his/her life?

As your missionaries, we want to share our stories of Mexico with you.We want you to see Christ in another part of the world.But, even more importantly, we want you to use your new Global Vision to bridge compassion back into your own immediate vicinity.Pray for Armando today.Pray for Gisela.But then I challenge you to find Armando and Gisela in your own community:your church, your neighborhood, your school, your workplace, your gym, your home school support group, your book club, your PTA meeting . . . wherever you go . . . look, and love.