Monday, November 07, 2005

The view from the Pastor's home

I have just returned from a wonderful time of ministry in Brazil's third largest city. Little by little God is allowing me to reconnect with pastors and their families across Brazil. What an education!

For the past three days I was hosted in the home of a dear pastor who lives and ministers in a humble, working class area of Belo Horizonte. This pastor, his wife and three children, ages 13, 18 and 21,treated me to the very best they have. I was blessed. What a family!

One thing that struck me was the difference between what this man has had to work with over the past 16 years he has led his church and what I have enjoyed over the last 16 years. Perhaps the view from his home captures it best. (see the pictures from my room) What he and his family look out on each and every day is what many call "the third world "

I am not sure where the term "third world" came from, but I know this. I have lived and worked in the "first world."
Basically to live in the first world is to work with the best the world has to offer. The best healthcare, the best police protection, the best schools, the best roads, etc. To live in the third world is to live with much less--perhaps 2/3 less.

Each day this family looks out on a world that is about 1/3 of what I have enjoyed. One third of the security, one third of the opportunities, one third of the privacy, one third of the books, one third of the space. Their tiny car with six of us jammed inside was definitely "third world."

To live in the "third world" is to live with less of everything unless you can create your own little "first world" as a few can and do. This pastor can never create a "first world" for his family. This is and will be his family's only world.

It is hard to see such a difference and not feel guilty. Yet, one thing became clear to me while in their home. They may live with two thirds less of everything materially, yet the inside of their home was one of the happiest most godly places I have ever been. I have seldom, if ever, met more godly young people in my life. The pastor and his wife have raised three of the most passionate Christians I have ever met. I have seldom met a more beautiful couple in ministry. All they could talk about was how they could better serve their people.

In the Kingdom of God there is no material advantage or disadvantage. In the Kindgom of God the first may even be last.
I, for one, know I will be hard pressed to match the joy and love for God I saw from my view inside the home. The view from the window was nothing to impress but the inside view was as good as any in the world.

1 comment:

MMendes said...

Dear Pastor,
I loved your blog!
Our vision about our life is generally wrong. Some disciples of Jesus perhaps were struck about John 6:9 'There is a boy here with five barley cakes and two fishes: but what is that among such a number?'