Field Work

19 02 2008

Last week I had the privelege of being in Mexico with 20 short-term missionaries from Michigan. We worked alongside the resident missionaries in construction of some buildings for a recently-established church group in Los Planos, Baja California Sur.

We also sent out groups of people each day into the community, including travel to the edge of town where local migrant workers live in extremely impoverished conditions.

It is a sobering sight to see where these people who work in the fields have gathered to form a small “shanty town” of shelters. Made up of various discarded materials, one wall of their “house” may be a randomly-shaped sheet of plywood, another wall made up of a stack of cases of empty soda bottles joined together by a piece of tattered old plastic. Their restrooms are outhouses with no roof or running water with toilets that are not much more than a hole in the ground.

Witnessing conditions that are so far below even what we in the U.S. consider as poverty level prompts a variety of emotions. Indebted gratefulness is near the top of the list.

Psalm 103:2 reinforces what I’ve been feeling: “Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.”

Benefits. Seeing other people’s lack reminds me of our excess. You and I have been the undeserving beneficiaries of so many of God’s benefits that we’ve forgotten more of them than we can remember.

I’m realizing more and more that a vital part of our work to (BE)TTER should include remembering how truly blessed we are while acknowledging God as the One who blesses us. Only good can come from frequently following the advice of the old hymn, “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”

To (BE)TTER, don’t forget to remember the Blessor.

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