Treasure Making

Posted on by Youth for Christ

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous … WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED MUCH MORE … so that as sin reigned in death even SO GRACE MIGHT REIGN through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” - Romans 5:19-21

Over the last dozen days, forty-one  leaders and students poured blood, sweat, and tears into serving a local school in the city of Esteli, Nicaragua.  For days, our team chiseled and moved rock after rock in hopes that our attempts would somehow better their structures, heal their needs, and ultimately redeem an impoverished and derelict building back into treasure.

What we did not realize was that no amount of renovations made, concrete moved, or polishing done would effect an undeniable fact before us - that school and those very classrooms have always been and always will be a site of treasure.  No level of deterioration or dirtiness could ever strip those rooms of that value.  God has set an obvious love for those grounds and no level of change, whether destructive or constructive, can change that.

We were reminded of God's choice of treasures one night when Alberto Leiva, Nicaragua's national Youth For Christ Director, shared his lifelong testimony with our entire team.  A story that has been stirring miracles in Nicaragua.  A story filled with many years in valleys of darkness founded in crime, shame, heartbreak, and sadness.  A story of a life of disregard to many including the character of Jesus Christ. 

Eventually, Alberto's path led him to prison where God's grip was finally realized.  In his time served, he found grace for a life of sin, he found love with his eventual wife who courageously and patiently waited for years, and he found the gift of mercy when his sentence was one day reduced drastically leading to his immediate freedom.

Twelve years later, Alberto can be found faithfully living in the city of Esteli where his story of redemption and restoration is being replicated in the lives of thousands.  His story of God's unconditional love despite his broken choices is being met with familiarity all across the city.  Incredible.  Incredible.  Incredible.

Alberto's story reminds us of the powerful lyrics:

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

Captured in these words is the essence of both Alberto's and the school's story of merciful resolve.  Where sin and crumbled walls abound, GRACE ABOUNDED MUCH MORE. Incredible. Their stories, along with our own, resound with such a love that God's only Son was given to redeem us all so that we as wretches are saved by grace, now made into treasure.

And so it is my friends, God's grace is alive and well: living in me, living in our leaders, living in our students, living in you, living in our city, and living in theirs.  How great it is to be alive.  How much greater it is to have students help in treasure making in Esteli, Nicaragua.

In His name,

Tony Au
Director, Campus Life - Barrington and Cary Grove

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