Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Difference a Child Can Make

While walking through the narrow alleys of La Limonada in Guatemala City I can feel the darkness, the evil that exists there, but unlike any other place I have ever been on this Earth, I feel light pushing it back and overcoming it.  In all the other places I have ever been, I know that He is there and I know that He is stronger than the evil one that has a grip on the lives of people all over the world and I know that He will win.  In fact, He already has.  But just like everyone else, sometimes, even though you know He is there and He is in control, you can't always feel Him in the situation.  In La Limonada, more than crippling darkness, I feel Him there.  So as I sat in church a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of a new sermon series and listened as our pastor spoke about Christ as a child and as we read in Isaiah 9, my thoughts were instantly taken to the children of La Limonada and scripture that I have read so many times was seen that morning with fresh eyes.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.  Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forver.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."  Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)
He came as a child.  Not a man.  Not as someone that appeared to have a great deal of power.  A baby.  And He was not born in that day's 5 star inn or a mansion of the times.  He was born into poverty.  There will never be another Christ, but I can't help but think of how God sent His son here in the form of a child and how often He mentions children in His Word.  Apparently, He thinks they are pretty important and that they can grow up to accomplish great things.
It makes me think about the children of La Limonada.  Crushing darkness covered the land in Isaiah 9:2.  It is no different in the lives of people in Guatemala.  They have two choices, as we all do.  Grow up to do what is right or what is wrong.  Grow up to be good influences and impact those around them and even the world or grow up to do what children do there when they have no other choice and darkness is all they have ever known...steal, become alcoholics and drug addicts, kill.
There is much darkness in La Limonada, but "the people walking in darkness" are beginning to "see a great light" and "...light has dawned."  Children are being given the chance to become adults that can change lives for the better.  They are learning about Jesus, about how much He loves them, even if no one else does.  They are beginning to understand that they have great value because they are His.  They are being given education, healthy meals and many of their other needs are being met.  Adults that once lived in darkness have seen the light and they are pouring that back into the lives of children there.  Adults that had no skills and could not provide for their families are being given training so they can.  Light has certainly dawned and it is overcoming the darkness.  Lemonade International is working hard to reach as many children in La Limonada as possible so that more children will have the chance to grow into productive, loving adults.  Children will grow up to make a difference in this world.  How they grow depends on us.  We can help them grow into the people God wants us all to be or we can stand by and allow them to fall into the trap of darkness.  They are worth fighting for. 
At this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Prince of Peace, we have the opportunity to support the children and families of La Limonada through Lemonade International's Give Christmas campaign.  You can give a child shoes and school supplies which will allow them to attend school in January.  You can give to help pay a teacher's salary so that she can continue to not only teach a child math, science, etc., but so she can continue introducing the children of La Limonada to Jesus and helping them grow in Him.  Or you can give the gift of education in the form of scholarships to older children so that they can continue their educations beyond 6th grade.  Our goal is high and it may seem overwhelming, but every donation counts and makes a difference in the life of a real person in Guatemala.
Join us in fighting for their lives at

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