Since 2005, I have been a part of taking teams to a colonia in Reynosa, just across the border from McAllen, TX. I take my kids with me. This July we took a team of 19 from the Vineyard churches in Arlington and Rowlett.
Our theme this summer was "Soy el tesoro de Dios" which translates to "I am God's treasure." We imparted this message via the movie "Finding Nemo" following up with 3 parables from the Gospels: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.
One day as I was handing out slices of fruit to those coming through the food line, I greeted each person with the words "Eres el tesoro de Dios." Adults and kids alike. I tried to make eye contact with each one. Some looked at me and smiled real big and repeated back to me "Soy el tesoro de Dios!" remembering the lesson from the day before. Others looked a bit surprised and gave me a shy smile. And there were a few who didn't look up at all.
The enemy is relentless. At every turn he attempts to undermine God's beloved creation with the lies that make us believe we are anything but God's treasure. We have a hard time believing that we are valuable much less valued.
We got to counteract that this past week. We spoke into the lives of many children and adults the truth that God loves and values them. We released the presence of God and invited the Holy Spirit. We prayed, worshiped and prayed some more. We fed the hungry and gave drinks to the thirsty.
We prayed with a mom who had abandoned her children and given herself over to drugs and prostitution. She returned to her parents' home one day last week, just in time for us to deliver the message that God loves her and that she is His treasure. A smile spread across her face as that truth sunk in past the grime and filth of bad choices made over the years and the shame that kept her in chains.
We prayed for her and with her. Freedom from sin and death. Salvation and restoration.
She received a new heart; she became a new creation. God's lost treasure found.
She immediately began devouring the New Testament we gave her and when we returned the next day with a book of daily devotions for her, she told us she was keeping the New Testament close to her under her pillow and would be reading the daily devotional, not one day at a time as prescribed, but as much of it as she could get through in one sitting.
This mom has a hard row to hoe. Drug-addiction is not an easy bondage to come out of. She was sick, feverish and achy, but intent on leaving behind that old life and embracing the new life that Jesus offers. We can pray that she stays firm in her resolve, strengthened by the Lord and the Holy Spirit who now resides within her. We pray for those who are there to come along side her, to reinforce the truth of God's Word to her and to disciple her as she learns to walk with Jesus, the Lover of her soul.
She is His treasure. She was lost but now she's found. He searched relentlessly until He found her, and He sent us to be His hands and feet. What a privilege.