People here in Panama (we are on the PA Conference young adult mission trip) live in  a wide range of houses.  What you might consider in this location to be someone of the average or middle class might be like the head elder of the church I am preaching in.  His house is a basic concrete block house with a smooth finish, painted an attractively bright color.  There is a bare concrete floor throughout, which in places like the kitchen is fairly pitted and eroded. A sheet metal roof covers the entire structure, but it has no insulation to keep the sun from baking everything under it.  There are 3 bedrooms and surprisingly, 2 baths, and while the windows have sliding glass in wood panels, none of the windows have screens to keep the bugs out.  They do have strong bars to prevent unauthorized entry by human beings!  The house has no air-conditioning, no paved road out front and no telephone.  The neighbors have an even more simple living arrangement, and they spread their laundry on their tin roof to dry and get sanitized by the sun. What doesn’t fit on the roof is hung from lines stretched across their “porch” and under the trees.

Then there were the houses I visited this Sabbath afternoon with church members to some of those attending the meetings.  Just barely vertical boards making up both the exterior and interior walls, and only half a door, or a door with a cloth hanging down to cover the opening.  There were openings for windows, but no glass, shutters, screens or curtains.  The entire house structure is just barely large enough to fix meals, sit down and sleep, and for many the meals and laundry are actually taken care of outside.  They are the most simple, primitive, basic  kinds of shelter.

It made me think – Not how poverty-stricken these folks were, or how dis-advantaged they must be, or how their standard of living, health, education,  and sanitation needed raising – all of which would be an improvement in their life.

No, the first thing I contemplated was, if you live in this setting and have Jesus Christ as your Savior – are you truly living in poverty?

It may seem you are dis-advantaged—but with Christ—you are rich beyond what this world considers wealthy!

I can have a great house (although modest by American standards), beautiful car, many modern appliances, money in the bank and in the retirement account, and yet, without Christ – I am truly impoverished.


One response to this post.

  1. You could definitely see your skills within the paintings you write.

    The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.


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