City of Hope: Musings on My Recent Trip to Colombia
All last week, I was away on a missions trip to Palmira, Colombia working at the Yo Soy el Camino Children's home. The small team I traveled with and myself had an incredible time and I was so blessed to be able to be a part of the experience. As I was reflecting on my trip this morning, the song "City of Hope" by Amanda Cook came to mind. She sings, "Adoption is our heritage, chosen from the orphanage. The Father's great inheritance, bestowed upon us all." This line leads me to the following verses from Romans: "The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children (Rom. 8:15-16)." The time we spent in Colombia became a tangible expression of this scriptural truth to me. This was my fourth time in Colombia at Yo Soy el Camino. There is something truly amazing about being able to share the heart of our heavenly Father with children who have been separated from their parents. The message we bring is one of hope, that Jesus has made it possible for us to be children of God. It is God's desire for us to put our trust in Jesus, so that we might be adopted into His family. This message though was not just for the children. It was one we sought to declare throughout the city. I believe as the song says that we have all been chosen from the orphanage. We were all separated from the Father at one time because of our sin. But the Father's desire was to adopt us into His family, so we don't ever have to live in fear again. So that we never have to feel abandoned or alone. Jesus made this adoption possible when he came to the world in human form and took the punishment for our sins upon himself on the cross. God desires to take an orphaned world and make us sons and daughters of God. This was a message we were able to share with over 800 people. We shared it in the streets. We shared it in local schools. We shared it with neighborhood kids.
The chorus of the song goes as follows:
"You are mending the broken-hearted. You are making all things new. You're rebuilding out of the ruins. A city of hope with the ones you love."
The Father uses us to be a part of his rebuilding plans. He uses us, those he loves, to help to mend broken hearts and to see desolate cities and lives be transformed into cities of hope. That is what this week was about to me. The incredible thing is that it is a road that goes both ways. As we bring hope to others, we grow in hope and faith as well. There was this moment on the trip that I won't forget. We were coming back from an outing with the children on a bus we had rented. I was sitting by myself, resting my eyes and thinking about some life circumstances that weigh me down from time to time. All of a sudden a tiny hand slipped it's way through the crack in the seat in front of me and held unto my hand as we continued our journey home. A sense of peace washed over me as the Holy Spirit gently reminded me once more of my purpose and why I am here. I am here to be an agent of hope to that little girl and many more like her. And in that moment, she was an agent of hope for me.