Guest Post by Blake A. Collins
My host brother, Julio, said to me, “Blake, we’re going to visit Rosie’s new home.” And so to visit we climbed up these steep stairways put there by the Peruvian government. These stairs say to the people in Comas “You are welcome here in Lima, but please, stay out the outside.”
I asked Rosie, who was 13 years old at the time, how excited she was to be moving into her new home. Rosie shrugged and said she was very excited, but her body language didn’t show it- at least not in the way that I, as a North American, would interpret it. Rosie’s idea of self-worth seemed faded. She was unaware that access to a safe living space was a basic human right for all.
As I looked on this plot of land purchased for Rosie and her family I felt God calling me to pray. And so I did. I prayed that the very dangerous realities of life in Lima after 20 years of terrorism would never enter this home. And I prayed before anything else was moved into it, that God’s presence would be there first- And be overwhelming!
Later during my year of service I recognized that prayer for Rosie’s new home was also a prayer for all (Y)oung (A)dult (V)olunteers. I realized that the Young Adult Volunteer program, similar to this empty home, was a time to invite God into our lives before we ourselves had fully moved into them. And I’m grateful for that year- and for all of you for inviting me to share. I invite you to pray for the current young adult volunteers and their work; their stories can be found at youngadultvolunteers.org. And please celebrate the roughly 1,500 YAV alum who are continuing to invite God into their lives and engaging in the works of the church in new and exciting ways.
The parable that comes to mind is “building on solid foundations; not on sand.” Where Rosie’s house was to be built were these concrete pillars. These pillars are both rare and necessary because of the daily earth trembles Lima experiences; on these steep hills houses slide closer and closer to the edge each day.
A part of the Pentecost Offering goes to support the YAV program- a program feeding our denomination and wider church in loving and necessary ways. Please consider giving generously to this offering and supporting programs such as this one. More information can be found at pcusa.org/pentecost.
And please pray that we are all building solid foundations in our work, with our lives, our gifts, and resources. We are called to be workers of peace. May it be so!