Ecuador update #2

When you lose everything.

A couple of Sundays after Kyle and I arrived in Ecuador our church here in Tabacundo was able to be a blessing for a local family. We heard about a family who lost everything they had in a sort of flash flood, and we were able to provide them basic things for their home, we brought them food, we brought them plates, cups, and all the little things you need to live a somewhat comfortable life. We were able to pray with them and worship God with them. It was such a beautiful interaction, but under very solemn conditions. The first time I went to visit the family, I remember being very uncomfortable with my surroundings. This family works making brick, which is a pretty messy business. On top of that they had animals living in what was their front yard. There was a lot of mud, a lot of animal waste, and a lot stuff everywhere. Their children were very, very dirty. They have a five year old daughter with down syndrome who hasn’t yet started talking. They are a very poor family living under harsh circumstances. It broke my heart and left a very big impression on me. I am learning more about the person I am and the person I want myself to be when I am faced with uncomfortable situations. This family is currently living under a large horse ranch. There was a drainage ditch located on the hill above their house. One day the ditch broke and collapsed, causing a massive amount of water to rush into their house. The damage was devastating. This family lost EVERYTHING, and what makes the situation worse this is not the first time this has happened to them. It happened twice before, once killing livestock and another time crushing two of their children to death under a wall. When I heard about this family and all that they have been through I was angry. I was angry because all of this could have been prevented. I was also overcome with guilt. Sometime a couple years ago that specific family was building their life back after losing everything and I was somewhere living in luxury and probably complaining over some minuscule problem in my life. This theme of guilt and discomfort for the ignorance I lived and thrived in for the majority of my life has been repeated so much lately. It’s something that I have had to pray about and something I have had to continually work to not slip back into. After seeing the family and seeing how they have had to rebuild there life’s so many times, I thought about what it would mean to me to lose everything, and the value that has been put in all the things I possess. If I lost everything I had, if I lost my loved ones, what would I do? How would I respond? Who would I blame, and how would I treat the person I felt was responsible for the destruction in my life? Would I wallow in self pity and how long would that last? Would I allow myself to live life the way I was living or would I constantly hold on to the fear of losing something? Would I give up mentally so I didn’t have to face what happened or what could happen in the future? A lot runs through my mind when I think of losing everything. Sadly I am pretty sure If I did lose everything I would be a huge mess. This family may have lost everything in the flood, but God shined through the people around them and was able to help them in their hard time. I encourage everyone who is reading this to think about what your life would look like if you “lost everything” what would be left? What would make you cry? What would you miss? How would you rebuild your life? What would that look like internally and what would that look like externally?

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