Like a draped curtain with ripples in the fabric, lush hills roll smoothly over the landscape. Tropical fruit trees bloom and dot the countryside with bright orange flowers. No matter which way I turned, I was surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. Though this Nicaraguan landscape is beautiful, it is also filled with poverty.
At the base of the gorgeous mountains are dirt roads lined with garbage, waste, and homeless people. Beneath the bright blue sky is a country torn by poverty and needs. I looked, and next to a bright orange tropical tree sat a shack made of rotten wood with a tarp roof. In the doorway stood a four-year-old girl with matted hair and bare feet.
Just like poverty and beauty exist side by side in the landscape, so it exists among the people. They may not have cars, clean water, or shoes, but they have something much greater—they are rich with love. When they have nothing else, they know what it means to love others. When you look at the people, you can see past the dirty clothes to a different kind of beauty; a beauty of the spirit. It is a beauty that comes from love.
When I went to Nicaragua this summer for an internship, I wanted to help the people live better lives. At first, I thought that meant that I would give them material things so in some way, they could live as I do. But after I got to know the people and experience their richness of Spirit because of the love of Christ, I had a change of heart. These people are not poor; they are rich. I don’t want to give them what I have, but I want to be given what they have. My heart longs for the richness of Spirit that they have in their poverty.
Wealth and riches no longer matter when it comes to the body of Christ. The best gift we have to offer is the love of Christ. When you have that love dwelling in your heart, you hold the greatest treasure of all. May the love of Christ make your heart rich today, and may you share that wealth with others.
Still, the grip of poverty is a major problem in many parts of the world. It is a problem that God has given us the resources to fix. To find out how you can help meet physical and spiritual needs with the love of Christ, visit http://www.worldvision.org.
Ashli Roussel, a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Harding University, is passionate about sharing the truth and love of the Lord through writing. She loves camping, running, playing the piano, and participating in missions. Most of all, she is passionate about knowing, following, and serving her Lord and Savior. Without Him, her stories would mean nothing.
Ashli has battled and overcome an eating disorder, which God used to teach her great truths about who He is and how He is involved in our struggles. Now she desires to comfort others with the comfort that she has received from God. Keep an eye out for Ashli’s regular articles on iBegat.com! (read more…)