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From the mission field: Pity or compassion?

A tiny girl, barefooted, dirty and alone, silhouetted among mountains of sparkling broken glass, recycled plastic and other trash, caught my eye.

A cheerful “hola” brought a shy look. A lollipop offered through a double wire fence beckoned the tiny girl. She hesitantly took the candy and scampered away. In only a matter of seconds, my heart was torn with conflicting emotions.

Anger welled about her situation, alone and vulnerable, powerlessness to change it and a mother’s love yearned to hold, feed and protect her. Pity or compassion? Right next to this garbage dump is a beacon of light.

The Iglesia Cristiana Dios es Amor was a scene of controlled chaos that day as it offered compassion to the families of the surrounding community. Partnering with Buckner Mexico, compassion was extended to those who registered for the special event and were willing to attend Vacation Bible School.

Love was shown through a new pair of socks and shoes. Following Jesus’ example in John 13, before the shoes were fitted, each child had their feet washed by a volunteer kneeling before them. It was satisfying to humbly clean each foot, to smile and say, “Christo te ama.”

Compassion was shown in sharing God’s Word through the story of Joseph. This powerful story demonstrates good and evil, forgiveness and God’s plan to bring redemption to Joseph.

At the close of the event, compassion was once again evident. A nutritious lunch was served to each child, many saying gracias and others thanking with their grateful eyes.

As the children left through the gates back into the community, I knew God was present and real. My heart was touched by the lives of the pastor, his wife, the faithful volunteers and Buckner Mexico, who toil daily in Oaxaca, long after we are gone. They will serve God bringing hope, dignity and a hand up to those who are willing to change.

Perhaps next year, you will feel compelled to be involved with Buckner and participate in Shoes for Orphan Souls and allow God to use your life for his service. Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Mary Ketterer traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, with Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls on a shoe delivery trip in August 2015.

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