Hallelujah Moment from Chile: Holes Are Filled
by Becky Harrell and Debi Tyree
August 14, 2009
Seven years ago, Becky Harrell arrived in the Andean region of Chile as an individual mission volunteer. During her first year of her service, she read Henri Nouwen's book Gracias: A Latin American Journal, in which the author describes his time as a missionary in a Peruvian pueblo called Ciudad de Dios. Nouwen shares his growing awareness that people living in poverty around the world have a very special relationship with God, one that many others may long for. He found that they turn to God for provisions, shelter, and comfort.
Harrell, now a missionary, came to realize that many persons who want to see only beauty and eat only delicacies have "holes" within that go unfilled. She says, "During my years in Chile, I have witnessed a filling of the 'hole' among many members of Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams or individuals who have ventured to live and work with those living in poverty."
In the pueblo of Pachica, children like Anna have grown up with these VIM witnesses in their lives. In turn, the children of this impoverished pueblo near Atacama, the driest desert on earth, are channels of God's grace and love, the fillers of "holes" to those who have found their way there. Many of these children have gone on to work in government positions, open their own businesses, or like Anna, return to her alma mater, Instituto Agricola Kusayapu.
Anna is now a house mother at the boarding school of the Methodist Extension to Andean Youth (EMANA). She is caring for children and sharing God's love with them in the same place that provided love and care for her.
Through the ministry of Becky Harrell and EMANA, children like Anna discover and freely share that God's love has no beginning and no end. Such an awareness, in an Andean child or a mission volunteer from abroad, fills holes in people's lives.
Speaking of this awareness, Harrell says, "This is an easy thing for us to forget in our wealth, but an important fact we must hold on to if we are to live the lives our Creator has intended."
Ways to Support this Ministry
You can share gifts through The Advance or by designated giving through your local church:
# 15141Z — Becky Harrell, Coordinator of the Methodist Extension to Andean Youth (EMANA), Area Financial Executive for the Methodist Chruch of Chile
Global Praise 3 and all Global Praise resources are available from Cokesbury Music Service 1-877-877-8764 or email email@example.com, from Cokesbury 1-800-672-1789 or www.cokesbury.com, or your local music dealer.
Date posted: Aug 14, 2009