One summer I took my high school ministry on a mission trip to Iquitos, Peru. Located where the Amazon River begins, Iquitos is in the middle of the rainforest and is only assessable by air or river. Our primary mode of transportation in the city was by motorcar. Half motorcycle and half rickshaw… these little modes of transportation were quite the adventure!
Jose was one of our motorcar drivers. He arrived every morning at 6:30 AM to shuttle us around the city on our ministry adventures, and would usually leave our hotel sometime after 11PM after the last group of students returned from an ice cream shop run. He was there every day for eight days.
Jose was so excited to be one of our drivers… you see, he had been a Christian for 4 years, and he had come to know Jesus through a mission team just like ours. He was most pleased when we spent one afternoon in his neighborhood sharing the Gospel message. He was so proud!
As we got to know Jose, we learned about his family and his life. We discovered that Jose didn’t own that motorcar — just like most drivers in Iquitos — he rented it daily. If he began his day before 6 AM and worked as a taxi driver all day, he usually had paid for the rental by 6pm… then he would drive until midnight to provide income for his family. Every day… 7 days a week… 6 AM to 12 AM.
So, when he shared with one of our students of the need to purchase medicine for his 18 month old child, but that he just couldn’t earn enough money to do it, our high school kids took up a collection for the family. Jose earned about $4 American dollars per day and those kids gave $180.
So we took the family shopping. Medicine… 3, 100 pound sacks of rice… clothes for mom and the kids… new shoes… You should have seen how blessed that family was — it still brings tears to my eyes to picture it. Jesus once said… “What you have done for the least of people, it’s like you have done it for me.” (Matt. 25) A heart for God and a hand for people… that his Jesus’ challenge to you and me. And as we meet the needs of those around the world; the Gospel Message comes alive. Here on missions weekend… what can you do? How can you help others? How might you help the Gospel be spread?