There is a grand paradox when we step into the paths that weave down into the ravine of La Limonada. We hear stories of pain, violence, and lack of power, while seeing the same faces filled with smiles and hope.
The questions fill up your mind and heart: What is it like to be hurt and alone? What is like to be abandoned? What is like to watch your children go hungry and suffer? What is like to be powerless to stop it or defend yourselves? What is it like to feel like you matter to no one?
Whether we feel joy or loneliness this season, we can have hope in Christ.
The message carried into La Limonada is the story of a God who became flesh and lived among us. A God who has been present and active all along.
As Henri Nouwen eloquently said:
This is the good news of God’s taking on human flesh. By calling him Immanuel or ‘God-with-us,’ we recognize that he has committed himself to live in solidarity with us, to share our joys and pains, to defend and protect us, and to suffer all of life with us. The God-with-us is a close God, a God whom we call our refuge, our stronghold, our wisdom, and even, more intimately, our helper, our shepherd, our love.
By offering their presence, the team in Guatemala provides tangible hope. They call homes, letting people express their pain and give voice to wounds. They listen to what is in their hearts and minds, and offer truth. They show up in the darkest moments of suffering, sickness, evil, and need. They pray with those experiencing illness, plead with the gang member contemplating retaliation from his recent gunshot wound, and celebrate the growing number of people who want to see their community healed and whole.
In La Limonada, you can actually touch hope. You watch it emerging from darkened eyes that begin to illuminate with new life.
God’s Word foretells the promise of Jesus, and He kept His word. We can trust by faith in God’s promise, so that “we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6). The hope of past promises kept inspires us to persevere and look forward. “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15).
‘Tis the season of hope!
From our family to yours,