Something to CelebrateRich Stigall
People like to celebrate. We celebrate weddings and births, graduations and promotions. This time of year, we prepare to celebrate touchdowns. At the end of the year, we celebrate the beginning of a new year.
I’m a fan of celebrating. In fact, I think we should celebrate more. If we did, what would that look like?
We could celebrate fidelity, a promise kept. We could celebrate family or a life that inspires others. We could celebrate patience, goodness, and opportunities God has given us to serve others. What a beautiful celebration that would be!
What a beautiful celebration it was today when our church partners, Restoracion, celebrated the opening of Brisas del Este (Casa Amor) their new homes and family ministry for children who were fending for themselves.
It opened with the singing of their national anthem, and then was moved along so well, in typical, colorful, Caribbean fashion, by dancing, ribbons, candy, and happy children that one began to wonder if we were at a church service or a fiesta grande!
When you’re smiling so much that your face starts to hurt, does it really matter what you call it?
Some joyless soul may wonder, “Why all the fuss? Couldn’t the church’s money and time be better spent in other ways?
At GO, we pray for eyes to see what God is doing. In the midst of all that style, Jesus revealed so much substance:
- The dream for Casa Amor was birthed 25 years ago in the heart of Pastor Altagracias, who has spent her life bringing orphans and vulnerable children into her own home. Her only desire was for a bigger home. Now she has four.
- Casa Amor was spiritually birthed from physical death. God used the life of Jean-Marc Vaval to bring together His people to launch this ministry. Pastor Altagracias honored Jean-Marc’s memory, pointing out the fact that without Jean-Marc, there would be no Casa Amor, but because Jean-Marc lived, many children will find new life.
- Casa Amor’s community spans government, law, business, church, and ministry. Each facet contributes in a unique way, resulting in a family that no one partner or subset could produce alone.
The bible says there is a celebration in heaven every time a sinner turns to the saving grace of Jesus. On earth, Jesus loved to celebrate to the point of being criticized for it, and Jesus was there today, because this is His family’s party. He’s leading it!
I learned more about the stories of Hans and Richard as the day went on (the two boys dropped off at Casa Amor by CONANI around noon), more than their visible scars would even tell. If you heard their tales, you’d have no problem with my next statement: there is evil in the world, not just problems, not just challenges, evil.
But, God sent His Son, and Jesus can make all things new! It’s true for the children. It’s true for all who were at Brisas today, and it’s true for you. More than anything else, that is something to celebrate!