False Hope…

Kitchen and sleeping room

Let me first go on record and say…I’m guilty…

I have learned many things since I’ve been here in Guatemala, both good and bad.  Unfortunately, what is on my heart right now is not so good…but I have to somehow write about it so I can sort it out…

I believe  the central motivating factor of my being here is to somehow…and in some way try to bring hope to these wonderful people. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for an opportunity to learn, to grow and to experience new things previously unimagined. Hope that they will find a relationship with their Heavenly father that knows them and loves them. I think about this everyday and I try to exude the hope that sustains me… so maybe it might light the path for others.

But as simple as this may sound, the flame of hope can easily be snuffed out…very easily…as I have been guilty of… and as I have personally witnessed. Most of the time it comes in the form of something unintended and seemingly minor in nature…but it has devastating effects…an unkept promise by a visiting Westerner.

We routinely bring down people for short term mission trips and we allow them to see the harsh reality that many of the people are living in…corrugated homes, dirt floors, smoke filled indoor cooking areas and more. Visitors from the West are a very compassionate people and after seeing this over and over again, their hearts begin to break. They begin to seek answers to alleviate the problems they see…at least to some degree. This is good…we WANT people to understand how the majority of the world is living…but what also happens is what we don’t want…

A promise is made…

They may not see this as a promise or commitment, but those that are living in and with these conditions certainly do and they make note of it.

After several more days here,  the visitor from the West will go home. They will get back into their routine of work, paying bills and continuing their life. They will usually reflect on what they saw when they were here and how they felt…but as time goes on…these thoughts begin to fade and the promises they made are usually the first to go…but not here…not by those that heard it…they remember.

Then, as time goes on, the promises never materialize. What they heard was not true. What they hoped to believe…will never be…

This is what happens over and over again. This is the unintentional consequence of someone with a broken heart, creating false hope in others and the effects are devastating.

The Bible (Matthew 5:37) reminds us to let our “yes” mean yes and our “no” mean no. In essence, Matthew reminds us to say less and do more…but also do what you say.

I think many of us in the West have watered down the importance of doing what we say. Promises don’t really mean anything, commitments are broken, words are just words with no consequences. But even as I write these words…I know that this line of thinking is anything but true. Promises DO matter. Commitment ARE commitments. Words DO have consequences. They can build people up…or regretfully, tear people down.

Why don’t we simply do what we say?   I think this one change in each of us would be one of the most significant changes we could make…for ourselves and all those around us.  This is my prayer for each of us…that we would simply do what we say we are going to.

I know I’ve written about this site before, but it is so powerful I wanted to mention it again. It is called simply…”because I said I would…” You can learn about it here:  http://becauseisaidiwould.com.

I still have hope. I still believe that regardless of what happens to people, with people or…because of people…we can still ignite the flame of hope in people and I will devote the rest of my life to doing just that…because without it…the world is a very, very dark place.

2 thoughts on “False Hope…

  1. Well said. If promises are made then it is a personal commitment to “stick to your
    guns” and follow through. We need to do this for our personal satisfaction but
    also to those we promised hope.

  2. I commit to returning and continuing the mission. I commit to continuing to raising funds for the community and supporting you and the Garcia’s. Please let me know what else can be done to help so this message is no longer the case. Greatful, Grace and Gratitude.

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