What is of True Value?

I have mentioned previously that I had the great joy of going go to Peru in 2003 with International Justice Mission.  If you are unfamiliar with this organization, I encourage you to go their website ijm.org and check them out.  Great organization.  We had a team of, I believe, two nurses, a lawyer, a therapist (me), a pastor, a journalist (maybe 2?), a police officer, and a few other helpful team members.  The town in the Andes mountains where we were based sits amidst a large area where the Lightning Path communists guerrillas used to rule.  They are gone, but their legacy remains.  Lawlessness and corruption is what we were there to help change.  Rape was (is?) rampant.  I was able to help a number of young women and girls start their Unintended Journey.  Some of these girls had been beaten by the fathers for disgracing the family by being raped.  Before any of you judge those fathers too harshly, we can do the similar damaging things to victims.  One thing none of them had ever done was actually tell another person the details of what had happened to them.  I was privileged to be a part of watching God at work helping them to open up, learn to accept one another, and hug each other; even if no one else, even their families were not able to.

IJM has a multi-faceted approach when they go into such a town.  It is amazingly creative.  Our journalists helped publicize our presence in town.  We were very public.  Our purposes were very public.  One of the things they organized was a huge meeting where the police officer and I were asked to speak.  All the community leaders, city dignitaries, and state dignitaries were present.  The state ones were in the front rows with special judicial robes on.  I chuckled as I watched one of them fight dozing off. 

Our IJM lawyer was my interpreter for my presentation.  It was amazing.  The audience was so engaged and interactive with great questions, that I cannot imagine they left without some new challenging ways to think about what was happening in their community. 

Most interesting to me though, and what I remember clearly was a conversation I had with one of our journalists afterwards.  She had been moved by what she heard.  She had two teenage or college age daughters at home.  I recall her saying to me, “Yes, that is why I teach my daughters to pay their own way on dates.”  I said well, that was fine and good, but I would want to teach my daughters that a date who pays the way without expecting anything in return is the kind of man I want her to look for.  She stood there for minute or two thinking, and finally said, “You know you are right!” 

How is it that we are so far from the Word of God that we do know how  to love.  Love gives and receives joy from the giving and does not need anything in return.  Anything else is pure selfishness.  This journalist is a Christian.  She wants the best for her daughters.  But, as it says in the last verse of James chapter one, “But the religion that God considers pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being poluted by the world.”  Let us help one another from being polluted in our thinking by the world that is of this earth.

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