"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."
- Matthew 23:37
- Matthew 23:37
Not long ago we were descending on the winding road from Alto Hospicio to Iquique at night. The city lay below us, sparkling with lights like countless bright jewels. As I gazed on the city to which God has led us to minister, my heart constricted and I was reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 23:27. I felt then as I imagine Jesus might have felt, a bittersweet mixture of love and longing and sorrow and hope for my city.
Despite the many twinkling lights, darkness still lurks in every corner of this town.
The sex industry, the drug trade, the dingy street corners where money is made off of humanity discarded. The gyrating discos where young and old alike throw off restraint in pursuit of pleasure. The hungry casino waiting to swallow hard-earned cash and the food from a family's table. Faces of friends whose well-meaning choices will never add up to salvation without Christ. Thousands upon thousands yet to hear the glories of His grace.
My husband and I have talked often of the opportunities in Iquique. We've dreamed of crisis pregnancy centers and abstinence ministries, of outreaches to the "women of the night." We've talked of Christian school and community centers and teaching English as a second language. There is so much that could be done, and so much left to do. All too often dreams run headlong into the limitations of reality and turn swiftly to dust. May it not be so in this case, and in this place!
If you had told me four years ago - when we were unexpectedly informed that our plans were being changed and that we'd be starting
But most of all we hope for tomorrow and what God has in store for this city - the place He knew even before we did, would be our home. In Christ, the future is brighter than a thousand twinkling lights. May we be ever faithful to His plans and purposes as we shine for Him!