Why, you may ask. It’s okay, many people have. Heck, I’ve asked myself that same question several times over the past few months. You really wanna know? Okay, here it is.
I’m moving to La Paz, Bolivia for a year. Yeah I know, crazy. It doesn’t make sense to me either. I’m working for International Justice Mission, a nonprofit organization that seeks to free the poor from injustice. In the case of Bolivia, the plague of sexual violence has left half the female population as victims. Sadly, a man is more likely to slip and die in the shower than be convicted of a crime of sexual violence.
Something is terribly wrong. International Justice Mission is trying to do something about it, and that’s why I’m going. I don’t want to miss out on the Kingdom coming.
“Our mission is to protect the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.”
How could I pass up on that?
Woven deep into the fibers of International Justice Mission is the hope of the Kingdom coming. IJM is a group of people who are in the trenches, relentlessly making His name known. They are people seeking to live more and more in His likeness. I am honored to be a part of a body of people who are daily doing their best to take up their cross and follow Him.
If our God meant what He said when He commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him, and when He proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah, “This is the way; walk in it,” and He went beyond just words to proclaim His reign and actually took hold of the cup His Father bestowed upon Him, and walked as the Son of God and the King of kings and the Lord of lords that He truly was and is—shouldn’t we follow? How could we pass up an opportunity like that?
If He is set apart as the Messiah by healing the sick, shouldn’t we glorify Him by doing the same? If He established His Name, not just through words, but also by deeds, shouldn’t we? If Jesus responded to cries for mercy, shouldn’t we be listening for them? If He looked after orphans and widows, shouldn’t we be seeking them out? If He came as the Savior of the world and got down on His knees in the dirt and drew lines in the sand, touched lepers, washed dirty feet, drew water from a well for a woman of a different ethnicity, shouldn’t we also?
If we were created in the image of His Son, shouldn’t we live in that image and move from merely head-knowledge, to heart-wisdom, to the manifestation of that image in our hands and feet? Shouldn’t our presence on earth linger as the aroma of Christ? Shouldn’t our very lives whisper of our own belovedness, and proclaim the belovedness of others?
That’s why I’m going. I have always been drawn to this— to die to my own desires, to follow the narrow path, to proclaim the belovedness of others, to share the good news of freedom, to love mercy and to walk humbly, to love on the people of Latin America.
I am so unworthy of this calling. But that’s also the beautiful mystery of the Gospel. That God— who is perfect and powerful and sinless— would choose us— who are fractured and selfish and sinful— to help redeem the darkest corners of the earth.
That is nothing short of a miracle. Every ounce of me is dying to be a part of that. And that’s why I’m going.