“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8: 38-39
For years, Oscar lay in the streets of Cuchilla, crippled, unable to speak or walk, but he wasn’t alone. He crawled through cow manure and sewage daily, but he wasn’t alone. Oscar’s family, burdened with extreme poverty, struggled to provide him with food and water, but they, too, were not alone.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons…
The Lord God was with Oscar in the dirt. He sat with him and felt his pain. When Oscar lay awake thirsty at night, Jesus lay there too. Oscar was never once abandoned, never forgotten or forsaken. God’s presence permeates all of our lives, sharing in our suffering, filling us with immeasurable strength.
The first thing the mission team noticed about him was his smile. His smile in the face of adversity.
Team members of Fundacion Water Work brought clean water from the water plant and bathed Oscar, wiping him clean of the manure and sewage that coated his body.
Some people from the community asked, “Why are you doing this? This boy is a nobody in this village?”
“Because Jesus loves Oscar,” was the reply. “Just like He loves you. He loves all of us so much, that He gave His life for us, including Oscar.”
And then a mission team from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and working with Water@Work in Cuchilla, had the opportunity to gift Oscar with a new wheelchair and clean clothes, things we take for granted but he desperately needed. He wheeled out to greet the team with a face filled completely with joy. No longer would he have to sit helplessly because now he too can effect change.
Neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth…
Throughout the next week, Oscar joined the mission team as they went door-to-door, sharing the Gospel and the love of Christ with the community. He participated in water bottle distribution. But most importantly, he helped tell people about how much God loves them. That He is always with them. That He will never desert them. Christ will lie in the dirt with you. He will feel your thirst in drought and carry you through illness. And most importantly, He will fill you with strength.
Nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.
I’m willing to bet that Jesus has the most beautiful smile that we have ever seen. Not beautiful in cosmetic perfection but radiant in joy, in love, and in all things holy. I think he smiled a lot in Cuchilla.
This summer, because of generous contributions to the Bursting Forth Campaign, Water@Work Ministry was able to bring both clean water and living water to Batey Cuchilla. Because of their Community Water Plant, lives were impacted in profound ways.
Residents no longer need to be afraid of their water and its resulting illnesses and they can take refuge in the peace of faith. A disabled boy with a love for people, his family, and his entire community can enjoy the security found in Christ and the strength to seek joy in the face of adversity.
Oscar is just one of tens of thousands of children that suffer from health and economic issues. You can help children like Oscar to achieve a healthier, sustainable, God-filled life by supporting our efforts in the Dominican Republic today.