Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mexico and Materialism

A small crew of us just traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico to join 140 others from Canada, the US, Mexico, El Salvador and Venezuela to distribute John 3:16 Seedsowers (www.seedsowersonline.com) text to over 100,000 homes.

Each day all available walkers are split into vans and given a box of packets that include the bible verse and an invitation to gospel meetings. The driver is given a map of his area and his goal is to spread his walkers around in such a way that each home in his area is given a packet in the most efficient way possible.

For the walkers this experience varies greatly depending on who your driver is, who your walking companion is, and which area you have been assigned to. Generally the organizers try to pair a girl with a guy (protection?) and a Spanish speaker with a non Spanish speaker (communication!).

On Wednesday I was paired with an older Mexican gentleman. We were dropped off at the base of a steep hill that had the beginnings of a road up it’s side. The road morphed into a path strewn with rocks and garbage that had no direct heading. The higher we climbed the more humble the dwellings. These homes were shacks made from whatever materials their owners had somehow salvaged: tarps, steel sheeting, rotten plywood, old blankets… Any of them would be able to fit into my apartment kitchen. There was no evidence of electricity, a sewage system or running water.

Near the top of the hill I had to wait while Sergio delivered to a shack a bit out of the way. To my left two little girls in dirt caked party dresses were perched on an old mattress. Each held a female doll of some form and between them lay a Ken doll that was obviously the cause for much consternation! Who would get the Ken for their Barbie? It was interesting watching a scene that I had been party to played out in such surroundings. People are the same no matter what their life circumstances. Each of us have a soul.

When we crested the top of the summit (!?) there was stretched before our eyes an horizon full of shacks. Each containing families and lives of which there is no duplicate. It made us pause.

I’ve been able to see from a distance what poverty is: here at home, in Zambia and in Mexico. It brings into focus what has meaning and what is really important for our existence. It begs me to ask, “Why am I blessed? What is my purpose?” Material goods will not guarantee me a fulfilled life. My life best lived is using what God has blessed me with to bring glory to Him.

3 comments:

The Space Between said...

many lives, but none identical. We are all individuals, eh? That would probably make me pause too. And I like how you pulled it together with the barbie story - we're so different, yet we are so similar. We all need the same things - but our context decides in which way.
Physical poverty is relative, but spiritual poverty isn't.

Mr T said...

Our National Geographic correspondent makes a welcome return!

I am pleased to see that you are losing grip on the dream of wandering the corridors of Chatsworth in your chiffon gown, awaiting Darcy's return from London.

Your happiness may well be found with an elderly Mexican gentleman in a tin shack.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25.

the smiths said...

Hi its us smiths again from derby!
glad to see you are keeping us updated with information of your interesting life in canada! how do you communicate with a spanish person when you don't speak spanish?
=]