Getting here was an adventure. Contrary to what we may have learned from Prof. Higgins, we discovered hurricanes do occur in Hartford (where we had been forced to land & refuel)! One of the students this year is filming the trip to create a documentary, so when we arrived, Brian Burman walked a few of us around the nearby neighborhood to get some shots. I'd been to the Dominican last year with Project Mañana. but this was not the neighborhood they worked in, so I hadn't seen any of these parts. A block away from where we were staying we walked through a hot, narrow sidewalk between houses. There were occasional holes in the sidewalk where we could see into the sewer. It smelled very bad. Brian told us that when it rains heavily, the area will flood up into the houses, and the sewer mixes in with the water. Trash was everywhere. Seriously, it was everywhere. And while I pride myself in being able to mentally cope with the difficult facts of life, I was overwhelmed. When I am serving in tough conditions, there is always a small part of me thinking, "At least I will be able to get back to comfort soon". But while we walked, I considered how the majority of the world is in poverty, the poverty is their comfort. If we don't understand poverty, we don't understand life! And here's a thought- maybe poverty is a blessing of sorts. I comprehended what Jesus called the disciples to do. And I understood what he meant when he said, "Leave everything, sell all you have, and follow me." But we don't remember what everything is, because we forget what nothing is. Our "get back to comfort soon" is after death. Right now, we need to get back to poverty.
Maybe it seems rash or childish, but then again, the rich have never been big fans of what the poor Jesus had to say.
~ Luke Schlake