People have told us that living by the Indian Ocean must be like living in paradise. And to a small extent that is true. We live thirty minutes from white sandy beaches where tourists love to fish, snorkel, and scuba dive.
But there is another side that struck again recently. A side that I hate.
It’s the dark side of paradise. Because while tourists explore the beauty of the ocean, people around us are dying.
In the past year, I’ve lost several friends to HIV/Aids. I’ve watched them deteriorate until all they could do was lay outside in the compound on a mat. I’ve seen young women with children and families taken by the disease, young students, older women caring for their grandchildren. The disease doesn’t have a preference.
This time, it’s a young mother of four I’ve known for several years. Her husband left her to go live with his second family, but he returns for sex, doing little if anything to care for his family. And now she has the virus.
It’s a scenario all too familiar. But they aren’t the only ones who are dying. There are people all around us who are dying spiritually.
It reminds me of the verse we all know. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
When we chose to come to an unreached people group, we expected the journey to be difficult, but we came because we knew people were dying. And because we knew that God loved them enough to die for them.
My prayer today is that we have that same love for those around us no matter where we live. That we will be lights in a world that desperately needs the love of a Savior.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." John 1:5