Grace Vineyard goes to Vamos Tamaulipas a few times a year. VT is a low-income colonia, neighborhood, just outside of Reynosa, Mexico. For the final trip of the year we take shoes to the kids who live in the colonia. In October a team went and measured the feet of 462 kids, and in December we delivered the shoes. Each shoebox is individually packaged for the children whose feet we traced. We go door to door to deliver the shoes. This is our fourth year to do it, and every year has been amazing. We always leave with lots of stories to tell, stories of grace and peace and goodness…
On Sunday I walked around the colonia with four other team members along the streets we were taking shoes to. At one point, a man drove up with his two children in tow and asked for their shoes. They were on their way out and wouldn’t be home when we came by. His daughter looked about 8, his son, 3. We were standing beside the Suburban where all the shoes we had left to hand out were packed, so we pulled the kids’ shoes out of the stack. The father thanked us. If we hadn’t come, he wouldn’t have gifts for his children for Christmas, he said.
The little girl opened her box, excited. The little boy, Bryan, pictured above, did not get through is box when he opened it. Inside his box, along with shoes and toys, was a box of crayons. He picked up the crayons, wide-eyed. “Colores! Colores!”, he cried, delighted. He held the crayons in both his hands and started to dance in the dusty street.
He danced and danced, laughing, clutching his treasure. It cost all of $0.17 at Target.
There was something so right about that moment. We caught a glimpse of God’s heart on display in that snippet of our trip. Here was the God of the universe loving one impoverished small boy in VT just outside of Reyonsa.
Poverty brings up all kinds of challenges. It is right to help people. It is important. And in the big picture, sometimes the massive expanse of the brokenness of the world is completely overwhelming. Being overwhelmed, though, gets displaced in moments when you’re standing in a dusty street watching that small boy dance with his crayons. It renews commitment to see God’s heart for everyone go everywhere, to the farthest most broken corners of the world.
Staring in the face of that one boy awakened passion once again and aroused hope. God cares for the lost and the least. A box of crayons is the Word become flesh to Bryan, loving a child and restoring our souls.
Gotta love a God like that in a world like this.