There have been a few moments that have radically changed my life. The moment I became a Christian. When Becky and I met, and when we got married. The day my son was born.
There was another moment that changed my life. It happened while I was on a missions trip to Mexico.
I was a 21 year old intern working for the Youth Department Northern Missouri District of the Assemblies of God. My job was to help lead a group of teenagers on a missions trip to Reynosa, Mexico. We did a lot of ministry that week, but one moment stands out more than all the others combined.
One afternoon we headed out to an outreach. I didn’t know exactlly where we were going, only that we reaching out to some children. As we drove, we passed by parks and schools with tons of kids, so when turned down a dirt road that seemed to be leading to the middle of nowhere I started to question our host missionaries strategic intelligence.
The road didn’t end up leading nowhere, it ended up in the city dump. I remember being confused as to why we were at the dump, and not back at one of the parks we passed, but as soon as we unloaded the truck and turned on the sound system I understood why were there.
When the music started playing people, kids, started coming out….literally from under the trash.
As we ministered in the dump that day I saw poverty first hand. I saw kids without clean water, without adequate clothing or shoes, with houses made out of cardboard, and families whose food consisted of the trash others had thrown away.
This is a little embarrasing to say, as I was 21 at the time, but until that day I didn’t realize what poverty was. I honestly don’t know that it had clicked in my brain that there were kids dying every day from malnutrition, from diseases they caught from drinking contaminated water. I don’t know that I really grasped that there were children who had no homes to live in, or schools to attend.
That moment changed my life. The size of my world more than doubled that day. I realized that there is a big world, with a lot of big problems, outside of Missouri. On that day I vowed that I would be someone who got involved in helping to solve some of these problems. This one moment in my life is a major reason I am both the sponsor of a Compassion child, and am a Compassion Advocate. It is a major reason I love BGMC as much as I do, and am driving to Panama to raise support for “No Child Without.”
I’m thankful that I experienced the dump on that day. It changed my life.
What about you, have you had a moment that changed your life, your perspective, your entire world?