MEETING JESUS IN CRACK ADDICTS
This past Spring, Judith and I were asked to go to Brazil & help train leaders through a great mission organization called YWAM with their base in Belo Horizonte (check this mission out for more information). It was an incredible time for us as we made new friends, did some training & were impacted greatly through the energy & passion of the incredible young missionaries we worked with who love Jesus. One of the greatest memories I have of this trip was the privilege to serve "crack" addicts in a nearby favela (slum) where we lived while in Brazil. As we walked the streets & gave out bread, coffee, water & juice to these suffering children of God I couldn't help but ask myself what has led them to such a horrible life of destitution. Oh, how their Father God's heart must break for his children surviving great danger while living high on crack cocaine. As we walked the streets the crack addicts would come out of the shadows, hungry, emaciated & dirty. At one time they were healthy people but now addiction has withered their bodies into skeletal facades of hunger & disease. Yet, are they not children of God? Do they not have the "Imago Dei" - the very "image of God" within? Are they not fearfully & wonderfully made with the very breath of God inside of them? Through the haze of crack & the weaknesses of sickness I saw Jesus looking back at me saying; "I was hungry. I was thirsty"! Then I heard Jesus speak to me in the depths of my soul; "As you have done to the least of these you have done to me". It was then I realized I was in the very presence of Jesus. Christ was right there with us as bread, juice & coffee were served. He was there with the poor & with us. Our Father God was present among us. Then it dawned on me - we were all participating in the "Lord's Supper"! The bread we served was the body of Christ. The juice we handed out was the blood of Jesus - what an awesome privilege it was to offer the body of Christ broken for all of us. For through our team providing bread, juice & coffee we were actually performing "The Lord's Supper" with these beloved children - my brothers & sisters. Yes, the presence of Jesus with us as the bread & juice we served became a form of the Lord's Supper in this hard scrabble street in one of the poorest areas of the world.