His Kingdom, Right Here {Part 3}

I glanced up at his face while she told me about the boy that had hung himself just two days prior. He had the same look I’d seen before—one of resilience but also desperation. It’s a fierce kind of look that he seems to carry with him everywhere.
And how could you not bare that expression when you live in this reality of dark forces all around yet you yourself are full of Light? The contrast is harsh.
They’d invested in the young man who chose to take his own life after a fall-out with his wife. He had lived on their grounds like the dozens of other boys that they care for and invest in, including his own brother. They’d spoken Hope and Truth over him. And yet, the darkness prevailed.
It’s a heavy burden to carry and one that’s weight is exaggerated all the more when you find yourself isolated in the depths of the Amazon jungle.
She went on to tell me more about the six-year-old boy who rejoined their family after having been taken away from them by missionaries without their consent—the son of a witchdoctor, mysteriously entrusted to their care. She told me stories that give goosebumps. They’re the kind of stories that missionaries like to tell from the front of America’s air-conditioned church buildings. They make good fundraising material.
But it’s not so glamorous when it’s your reality, this kneeling down early in the morning to pray away the evil. There are 19 young men who live on their property with them. Each with their own story, their own past. Some are Christ-followers now. Others quite the opposite.  All of them hearing and experiencing the Love that surpasses tribal cultures and languages and myths and strongholds.
But not all of them experiencing the freedom that comes from knowing the True Healer, Father, Life-giver.
Little nine-month-old Sofia bounced in her lap as she continued to unload these burdens and my mind tried to reconcile all of the disparities of young men overcome by darkness with bouncing infants in all the innocence, wondering how Hope can prevail in all of this hopelessness.
And then it hits me that the Hope is sitting right in front of me. It is Josi, sitting with her daughter whom she will raise up to know Jesus as her Father. It is Marcos, with his hand on his son Lucas’s back, whom he will teach what it means to be a Christ-follower. It is little Tepi, learning from Marcos in the wee hours of the morning as they swing together in the hammock, speaking of the True Chief. 
It’s the day to day of hard prayers and hard Truth being spoken on their property on a little parcel of land in the midst of the jungle as they invest in the lives and futures of these young indigenous men who will go back to their tribes and communities, armed in the darkness with the True Light.
There is Hope. And it’s a Hope that prevails through the darkest of places and the pierces the coldest of hearts. It’s through the day in and day out. The bending and pouring out of lives spent for the broken. It\’s each of us investing in our own disciples, the children He has entrusted to us. It\’s the dying to of self and dreams and plans for the sake of the one. It\’s believing that He is True and His Love is worth the cost. 
It\’s building His Kingdom, right here. 

“The people who live in darkness 
have seen a great light, 
and for those living in the shadowland of death, 
light has dawned.”
Matthew 4.16

This is a multi-post series. See His Kingdom, Right Here {Part One} and {Part Two}.
Visit www.onthebeautifuljourney.com for more information on what God is doing through the Amazon Network. 

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