And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. Paul
My father worked harder than any man I have ever known to provide for 6 children and a wife. We were far from rich, but like most who are reading this post, we grew up having everything we needed. So, for me, it always takes a while for my senses to sort through what I see when I leave the United States and set foot in an impoverished or chaotic country.
When we disembarked our flight and entered the airport terminal you would not believe how many people converged on us trying to hustle a few bucks. Our taxi, which was a pickup truck, carried us down back allies, and the wrong way on one-way streets, to get us to our hotel. A hotel no one would choose if there were options. Heavy iron gates that stood between us and a roof over our head had to be opened before we could get inside. Once inside it felt like we had entered a prison.
In Venezuela, the Dictator Chaves is gaining power and causing a commotion. The country is split down the middle. Unrest is felt everywhere -- even in the churches. Yet in Caracas, a fledgling community of faith waits with excitement. Finally, after a 27 year wait, they will receive some much needed help. In Maturin, the largest protestant church in Venezuela, dozens get saved weekly. The church there grows larger and stronger in spite of releasing some of their most gifted and dedicated people to start 7 new churches!
I am no shrinking violet, but in Venezuela I never felt safe. Neither did my companions. Yet, I feel drawn to that kind of Faith Adventure. I guess it stems from the conviction that I no longer believe being in the Will of God is guaranteed to be a "safe" place. I challenge you to find one shred of biblical evidence that would lead you to believe that those who followed Christ with abandon lived a safe life.
In our day, it seems that the only places God is -- without question -- showing up are the unsafe ones. Here in our own wonderful country, it seems that God is only making appearances where He finds a desperate people. Only where there is risk that requires faith, or faith that requires risk.
I long for a worthy commotion!