Theft and Missions

I just got a call from Samuel informing me that the church was broken into yet again. This is the second time, apparently, in less than a month. Most of our equipment is locked inside the building. Anything stolen from the main building must fit through the rather small, square openings in the metal protection that is designed to protect against theft. Probably about a foot square.

So for someone to get inside the building and steal things, two things have to happen:

1. Someone very small, probably a kid, has to squeeze through the metal protection on the windows.

2. The items taken out have to be relatively small.

A roll of wire 12 gauge wire that we’ve been using to provide electricity via a generator have been stolen twice. This time, our video projector, which was mounted to the roof, was taken. This is the second time we’ve had a video projector stolen (the first time was at a wedding). All our microphones and cables for instruments and mics…gone. A lot of tools that belonged to Ismael and others were stolen. Outside, even the small sink mounted on the side of our temporary bathrooms was taken, as well as a tarp from a used trampoline.

When Sam called I was reading a book entitled Learning from the Least, by Andrew F. Bush. Thanks, Rod Poskitt, for the gift. On page 7, in his introduction, the author talks about “a renewal of mission through servanthood, from a posture of weakness instead of from a privileged class. This is service not for the marginalized, or with the marginalized, but as the marginalized.”

On page 22 he says this, “They (the marginalized) can appreciate Jesus’s exhortation to prayer, because prayer has often been their only hope for healing, for food on the table, for a future for their children, or for a roof over their heads. More importantly, as men and women who have often known the pain of deprivation, the fear of war, the ravages of illness without access to remedy, they read the Gospels of Jesus with empathy for the weak. They understand what it means to be among “the least,” whom Jesus called his brothers (Matt. 27:40).

After reading these passages, my perspective on the ongoing theft of our church building changed, and I began to look at it as a blessing. Since returning to Mexico a few days ago I have once again become keenly aware of the darkness here, the injustice, the forces that align themselves against the Almighty. But didn’t Jesus live life in a similarly malicious world? Did not he himself receive in his body on the tree the full weight of evil? Yes, he did. Through weakness and scarcity, God triumphed. He still does today.

 

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