Friday, 17 August 2012

Acts of service...

Candace and I have really been challenged lately to step out and listen to that still small voice that is God's Holy Spirit inside, telling us how we can serve people better. This has happened on a number of occasions in Tenerife. We have had our heart strings tugged by the poverty and desperation that exists even here, in what seems to be the lap of luxury itself. Now before I get complaints, let me say that I know that Spain is in recession and that the economies of many Eurozone countries are struggling, but Tenerife does not feel like mainland Spain. To me, in any case, it still seems pretty well-off. But anyway, back to what I was talking about...

We walked into town many times and often passed a man, sitting by the side of the road, begging for his livelihood. He seemed ashamed of what his life had become. A couple of weeks ago we were convicted to go and talk to him. He spoke a little English, and told us his name. He actually worked on ships as a cook, and was living on the streets while he waited to see if he'd get a job on one of the ferries. After we left him we sat down on a park bench and prayed for him. Since that day, we have not seen him, and it is our belief that he is employed and happy, laughing as he prepares a delicious meal in the galley of a ship. 

That's just one of the stories that we have encountered here. We have also seen poverty in the eyes of a once-employed man now forced to beg. We have seen poverty in the desperation of a woman in a wheelchair, struggling to move herself up the crowded streets, and the disgust of onlookers unwilling to help. We have befriended a couple, from Nigeria, who earn their livelihood as car guards every day. These seemingly "poor" people have something which I don't see in the eyes of the wealthy. They have a joy for life and a genuine love for those around them.

My prayer is that others would step out and meet a need. And in so doing, maybe they too will witness the joy that we have seen (and felt) through little acts of service here.

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