And there are amazing Lights we have seen. Sister Myriam who left her family many years ago and moved into Tijuana to meet the needs of, as she described them, drunks and derelicts. The incredible act of selfless giving by the director at the hospice we visited yesterday who is truly doing all he can to meet the needs of the "least of these". Sarah Gomez here at Tijuana Christian Mission and her incredible heart to always push the envelope and meet the needs of others in new ways. The Purple Palace and the lives being changed. I could go on and on. Our experiences to see the Light of God in Tijuana have been many.
Last evening we went to a youth group meeting. They themselves are preparing for a missions trip and part of the meeting was devoted to their own translation skills. Seth had an opportunity to speak with them and share his heart. He did a great job. One of their leaders also shared his testimony, again very moving.
Seeing the Light amongst the youth last evening was incredibly moving. Their Spirit-filled worship, their praying over us, their desire to meet our needs.
I will add a personal comment here. I believe that Tijuana is ripe for a huge spiritual movement to sweep over it. The ground is broken and fertile. Out of huge desperation and tragedy God can arise in a huge way. It's happened so many times before -- God sweeps over a land after a time of incredibly brokenness.
One thing that concerns me though is that oftentimes there is a desire to "escape" the ugliness in a city or community -- escape the darkness rather than bring the Light to it. I remember experiencing that 25 years ago when I just wanted to get away from the drug culture that was in my high school. I didn't want to be the Light. I just wanted to escape. And, as I shared with our group yesterday, I used to frequently visit New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This was when Times Square and some other areas like the meat packing district were as seedy as they could get. Prostitutes, pimps, hustlers, and drug pushers approached me openly in every block I walked. But I didn't feel the need to be Light. Instead I was there with complacency ... and never dreamed of doing anything to be the Light.
There must be a call back to the city of Tijuana. This call exists for those already here as well as for those who have left and those of us who live a couple thousand miles away. We must return to the city, determined to claim it for our Lord and Savior and bring His Light and His refreshing water to a dark and dry place.
The hearts of those serving here now are huge. You have to see it to believe it. Such purity of the call exists when one is serving the lost and the least and putting their life on the line continually for others. Always giving everything they can, everything they have, for others. Again, you have to see it to believe it.
The basis for renewal is here. The folks here who are the Light are emboldened and empowered to create lasting change. The soil is broken and fertile. Will the workers come?
What can we do to support this? Right now, pray that God's plan, which I do believe exists, for a return to this city - a complete renewal - will come to light and be realized.
Keep reaching ... deeper into God and further out in His love.
We love and miss all of you back home. Your comments and words of encouragement along our journey have meant so much.