After worship Sunday evening with our brothers and sisters in Peru, we ate pizza in the town square. I’ve been struck this trip on just how 1940s America this part of Peru is. Since most people do not have television or many of the personal tech devices that we have, the town square is full of people hanging out, chatting, laughing, and playing. As we are eating dinner a few of our students strike up a conversation with a family and find out they haven’t eaten in 3 days.
This is the first time some of our students have met hungry people. We’ve talked many times before in worship on campus about Jesus’ call for us at the university, statistically some of the richest people on the planet, to share, to live simply so other people can simply live. Talking about it in the abstract in one thing; meeting a family face-to-face does something to you.
Our students were visibly upset and some had problems sleeping that night. At breakfast the next morning, to help process the experience and to move to action, we reflected on our responsibilities as followers of Jesus to not just do the compassionate act (we shared our food with the family) but the just act (how do we change the system so they can have work and feed their families every day of the year?).
I know there are Christians who would have been oblivious and spiritually unaffected by that family; this team was not.