In the last 6 months, large amounts of Venezuelan families have arrived in Sucre, Bolivia.
It's astounding to see the efforts they have gone through just to survive, and many of them sit asking for help in the streets.
Yet it’s even more astounding to see how God sustains these families, and especially humbling that He uses His people to show compassion and generosity.
These immigrants are practically alive because of their faith in God. They have been placed in a situation where they were forced to leave their homes, possessions, their country, and family members. Seeing their situation, we are moved to mercy. It’s a pleasure to share some of what God has blessed us with. That's where our faith comes in as well.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to him, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:14-16
This is God’s good design for his church, to live a life of generosity and grace because that's exactly what God has done for us.
John, the beloved disciple of Jesus describes this concept of God’s generosity and our response like this:
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18 ESV
God cares for those in need, the poor, the oppressed, the orphan, the widows, the grieving, the foreigner without a place to stay.
He urges us to respond to them the way He does, defending their cause and providing for their needs. Why?
Because that's a reflection of God's love dwelling in us.
Psalm 140:12 says, I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
May we daily open our eyes to see the needs of those around us, being quick to respond in faith with generosity and hearts full of compassion.
May we always remember what God has done for us, that when we were in our lowest state of spiritual poverty, God richly lavished His mercy on us.
So we can look at faith in two different lights,the faith to receive God's sustenence when we are in need and the faith it takes to give freely as God has given to us!
Translation from their sign,
"Our Bolivian Brother,
We are a Venezuelan family searching for a better future, please help us so that we can eat and continue on our journey. Thank you. God Bless you!"