Catching Up w/ Kaleigh: The Manila Skyline and the Gospel

By Kaleigh Ward

Hello from the Philippines!

The ministry we’re working with this month is called Kids International Ministries, and I am blown away by their multifaceted impact on the community.  They have a Christian school, a children’s home where they seek to find adoptive parents for kids, a home for abused teen girls, a prison ministry, a feeding ministry where they reach out to local neighborhoods, a men’s ministry where they disciple and teach trades, an outreach to women in trapped in sex trafficking, a pool where they teach community kids how to swim, andmore!  You can learn more about this awesome organization by checking out their website or liking their facebook page.

Today was our first day of ministry.  In the morning, my team was assigned to help with a landscaping project.  For four hours, we shoveled mud into bags, carried it across the yard, loaded it onto a truck, unloaded it at a new location, emptied the bags, and started over again.  We were absolutely covered in mud!  It was hard work but also a lot of fun (and a great chance to use that functional fitness I learned in CrossFit!).

From kaleighward.theworldrace.org
In the afternoon, we were able to invite some community girls onto the campus to start building relationships with them.  We painted their nails, colored, worked on puzzles, and just chatted.  I’m so excited to go swimming with them tomorrow afternoon!  They are precious young ladies, and we are all honored to be an example of Christ’s love in their lives while we’re here.
In between these two ministries, my team had the chance to visit the KIM prayer room for the first time.  This is a small glass room on the fourth floor, and the view will take your breath away.  When you look down, you can see the impoverished neighborhood that borders our campus.  Tin roofs are held down by big rocks, clothes are spread across them to dry, women are pulling water out of the well.  Then, as your eyes look out, you can see the entire Manila skyline in the distance.  It’s a sight like none I’ve ever seen before– a stark juxtaposition between urban and rural, wealth and poverty, progress and simplicity.

When I first looked out at the skyline, I was immediately struck by how tall the buildings were.  If I were to stand at their base, I’m not even sure I’d be able to see the top!  However, after a few minutes, my eyes turned to the vast expanse above them– a wide blue sky filled with white and grey clouds.From kaleighward.theworldrace.org
I realized that even though those buildings were incredibly tall, they barely reached into that vast expanse at all.  There was so much space they couldn’t reach, so much air they couldn’t fill.

As I took in that sight, God began to give me a fresh revelation of the Gospel.

No matter how tall architects and contractors try to build these skyscrapers, they can never reach very high in the grand scheme of the atmosphere and sky.  The idea of them trying to fill the sky was laughable.

Likewise, no matter how hard we try in our own strength, we can never come close to God on our own.  The expanse is too big, the gap too wide, and we all fall short.  The most important executive on the top floor of the highest building is still just a tiny speck nowhere close to reaching God.  The most humble-hearted servant, building his own sky-rise of good deeds and social justice, is just as incapable of building a tower high enough to reach the heavens.

Really, if we have to figure out a way to reach God on our own, the situation is hopeless.  He is so big, and we are so very small.

But here comes the beauty of the Gospel.

God saw us and our futile efforts to reach Him and then got up from His glorious throne in the Heavens, took on human form, and entered into the lowliest places on earth.  He was born to an unwed mother in a dirty stable behind a cheap and crowded hotel.  He loved the lepers.  He valued the children.  He healed the sick.  He fed the hungry.  He loved, and He served, and He laid down His very life.  He realized that we could never possibly reach Him… so He came down to reach us.

And He didn’t stop there.

He continues to enter into the dirty places on this earth day after day after day.  He loves on the orphans.  He provides for the widows.  He guides our steps as we make decisions about jobs and houses and relationships.

He heals us.  He forgives us.  He loves us.

He could turn His back on the human race for sinning against Him every minute of every day.  He could stay distant, enjoying His heavenly throne.

But He doesn’t.

He never stops entering the lowest places.  He never stops loving each individual speck of a person, reaching out to them because they can’t reach Him on their own.

He is powerful yet personal.
He is vast yet detailed.
He is in the city and in the country, in the heavenlies and in the earth.
He is God, and He is good.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

From kaleighward.theworldrace.org

My good friend Kaleigh is preparing to go on The World Race, a mission trip to 11 countries in 11 months. Check back for updates from around the world! Follow Kaleigh’s World Race Blog. — Tiffany

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