Luke 18:7-8 Don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?
“Sapphire’s blue can be vivid and saturated, like it’s lit from within.”
Idagly and Otto are one pastoral couple among many who have chosen to stay in Venezuela, even though most professionals have left. It would be easy for them to leave, because Otto is Colombian. But they and their three young children believe God has called them to serve and to suffer with the Venezuelan people. Most days, God’s justice doesn’t feel like it’s being granted quickly, but they hold tightly to this promise anyway. Apparently, God’s sense of timing is different from ours.
To say life is not easy is an understatement. Idagly says the question in Luke 18:8 challenges her every day as she deals with frequent blackouts, the daily struggle for food, clean water, medicines and fuel which if they are available at all require endless hours standing in lines, practically nonexistent health care, no public transportation or services like garbage pickup, and on and on. Starving people have killed and eaten the animals in the zoos.
Caracas is ranked at the top of the most dangerous cities in the world. Otto and Idagly’s children were kept indoors even before the coronavirus hit, because it’s too risky for them to be outside. The current MONTHLY minimum wage is worth less than $2.00 in U.S. currency. With almost no protection, the few health workers still working in Venezuela are dying of COVID-19 one by one.
Since she can’t get gas for her stove, when she has electricity, Idagly cooks on a small electric burner as much food as she can, as fast as she can before power goes out again. But how does she preserve that food, in a hot climate with such frequent power outages?
I am stunned, challenged, and blessed by the strength and grace of our friends. Last Monday Idagly described for me a gathering by Zoom of pastors and their wives all facing the same circumstances. “But the tone of the meeting was praise. It’s just amazing how God is showing his faithfulness to us, even in small things. We KNOW God is caring for us.”
The Holy Spirit, alive within them, shines even more brightly because of the surrounding darkness. For me, Otto and Idagly and the other pastors and their families in Venezuela whom we know and love fit right in with the great examples of faith listed in Hebrews 11.
Will you join me in praying for them, and thanking God for the radiance of their lives?