Before Adulam, I thought God’s presence was strongest in America. The passion I felt was so strong growing up in American Christianity that I wanted to model all of my spiritual experiences after what I had in the States. My prayer for a while was that I would experience God in an international way so that I could see for myself that Christianity wasn’t just another aspect of American culture. But I just couldn’t find that same type of passion in South America. American Christianity just seemed too good to be completely true. It was so comfortable and so easy, but that’s exactly what the problem may be. American Christianity is so comfortable that churches can spend millions of dollars on a new facility without even considering how far that money can go for those in need. American life is so easy that people have to come up with other things to worry about that really don’t matter, like the look-good-smell-good Christians.
At Adulam, things are different. They rely on God for things only He can provide. Sometimes they may feel helpless with the kids who lived their first 7 years witnessing firsthand the prostitution of their mentally-ill mother; or having to fend for themselves at home alone with no parents, food, or money; adults here don’t make nearly enough money to sufficiently feed the 50 children who live with them; the stories range from bad to worse. But above all is the love of God’s children. Despite the circumstances, despite the setting…His children love. Never have I felt a love as strong as this, whether it be the kids hanging all over you and hugging you with no end or the parents giving you the best portions of their food. Love is immediately present.
Maybe that’s what the American church is missing. Sure, people are nice. But above all…love is sacrificial. The single moms here sacrifice their lives to not only care for their own children, but also take on the lives of so many other orphans. The men sacrifice so much time and energy working endless hours and constructing and fixing parts of Adulam to ensure stability for the rest of the community. Their sacrifices are endless.
Our example is Jesus, the most sacrificial love there is, that He came and died for all those who didn’t and don’t deserve it one bit. Who do we love? The ones who are hardest to love are the people who need it most. How do we love? Truly loving someone is sacrificing anything or everything for them. And why do we love? Well, to answer that question takes a relationship with God and a desire to glorify the Name that deserves it the most.
They definitely don’t have much here. Not enough money, resources, or manpower. On the other hand, they have enough love to go around the entire world and back, and that is what’s most important.