There so many stories that need to be told. Some cause us to be inspired. Others can stir anger within us. Many should cause us to reflect on our own lives and how we ought to live in such a way as to reflect the love of Jesus to others. I could write my own reflection on how this looks, but a friend of mine, another team leader, has written it much better than I ever could. Together we helped build this lady's home. Let me invite you to listen and reflect with my friend, Matt Duxbury:
"I am again so fortunate to be in El Salvador. I am here on the Leaders week.
Today my team built a house for a woman who has had quite a life. She has four children from 15 to 2yrs old. She is a single mom who has been through two men. The first one who gave her the two older kids left her for a different life. The second man gave her the next two kids and a beating for almost every day she was with him. He also beat his then 1 year old daughter. Unfortunately this is all too common in this country. She finally kicked him out. She works at the market selling candy. Some days she makes $3-5. Some days she makes nothing.
She broke down crying saying thank you from the bottom of my heart over and over.
This is why I come to El Salvador. To be the hands and feet. To start a new path. To begin to generate a different journey for those who cannot generate it for themselves. To wrestle with the thoughts of how a man could beat his wife and 1yr old daughter. Instead of dismissing the thought in disgust and acting towards the afflicted in warm hast to alleviate the tension in my heart I ask what are all the factors that take a man to this place. This type of evil is rarely sudden but more often compounded by environment and many other factors. I come to learn from those in the communities how to be a better father and husband. If they can do it here amidst what confronts them I can do it at home.
I come to give hope to those that need it. I come to receive hope in some of the most unlikely ways. If I am open and can see behind the obvious it is there and can have immeasurable inspiration. As much as the woman today was in a desperate place she has a strength that most do not.
Look for the inspiration behind the obvious. It exists everywhere. Maybe I am more aware of it here because I come to El Salvador looking for it. I treasure my times here because it moves me to a posture I long to possess more often than one or two weeks a year. Thank you people of El Salvador once again for your steady hand on the inner aspects of my life. You are a gift in the hand of God and you have made impact that will affect my family and their children as well."