Saturday, June 28, 2008

Avelina and Raul

Avelina is pictured on the far left in the green shirt. Her sisters, grand-mother and mother are also pictured.
This is Avelina and her family (well her family then. Now she is married to Raul). She was one of the two full-time women missionaries working while I was in Mexico. Avelina was and still is one of the most amiable people that I have ever met.

Her father died when she was young. This left her grandmother and grandfather alone to support her family. She also has three brothers and they also help to support her mother. They make very little money as a family. The women don't work in her region unless they have some kind of home-based business. Her house is located away from the down-town area so this is not very good for that. Besides, you have to either borrow the money or have enough to set aside a little to be able to start a business. As it is, her family barely makes enough to survive.

I have met quite a few rich people in my day. Most of them have had arrogant attitudes about the poor. I have to admit, I was one of them myself. Well, I wasn't rich but I had a rich person's attitude about the poor. I guess you kind of have to have this attitude if you are going to get rich as the world sees it. If you don't have this attitude, you will have to give all your money away. The attitude goes like this, they have the same opportunity that I could. If they would stop thinking like loosers and think like me (a winner) then they would pick themselves up off the ground and be successful. As it is, the rich have no respect for the poor. They view them all as people who have got themselves into the mess that they are in.

Here are a couple of scenarios for you to explain this outlook that rich people have: They had too many kids and therefore had to spend all their money to feed them, chose to live in a rural area or even, they come from a race of savage Aztecs and don't deserve to live anyway. They are just getting what they deserve from living so immorally when they were in power in Mexico. God just took their power from them because they were bad stewards of it but I am better and am very religious and pay my tithes and that's why God has blessed me instead of them.

Are you throwing up yet? Yes. That is sort of the way I lived my life before and I know that is also the way that you have to look at it if you are going to be rich and coldly and callously ignore the needs of others.

God instructs the rich to buy for themselves moneybags that will not be stolen and riches that will not wear out. These things refer to their generosity. The way God sees it, He owns it all anyway and could take the very lives of rich people in an instant. God demands them to be generous to the poor because He was generous to us. He sent Jesus, who by the way was very rich in heaven, to be poor and have no where to lay his head and be beaten and rejected and die with all his followers weeping and in dis-belief while the world rejoiced.

So, yes God does have the right to demand generosity from us. We can coldly think the following: "God will take care of them. I need to provide for my own needs." Yes. God will take care of them. But he demands us to be generous for our own sakes. In the book of Luke, Jesus pronounces some "woes" to go with his "blessings". Luke 6:20-23 pronounces the blessings while Luke 6:24-26 pronounces the woes. All the blessings are for those who are poor, hungry, weeping, hated, troubled, reviled and spoken of as evil. Who does this sound like to you? Donald Trump's family or Avelina's? All of the woes have to do with people who are rich, have plenty to eat, happy and spoken well of. Who does this sound like? Which should we aspire to be if we are going to be blessed by God?

The following picture is of Raul, Avelina and Raul's sister in the back of the "hot wheels" van going up to the mountains to share the gospel with people in the mountains of Mexico. Raul and Avelina are a good match because both of them love the Lord and want to raise children to love the Lord Jesus as well. Happiness is not so much what the Bible lauds as joy is. Joy is the enduring inner contentment in what God has given you and that that is all that you need. It carries with it the thought of being thankful for all that God has given us, even if we don't have anything. This is where true happiness is found.

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