Written by Joy Garcia
While serving in Bolivia on HOPE Youth Corps, God gave me the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be like Jesus. In a lesson earlier in the week, the speaker asked the crowd if we would be willing to sacrifice to the degree that we could give up our own shoes to the poor on the street who were without. That really struck my heart, to think about the selflessness that Jesus had for people. Jesus would have no problem taking the shoes off of his own feet to give to someone in need.
Later that week, we spent the day at a park playing with some of the poorest families in the La Paz area. While I was participating in a soccer game, I noticed the shoes of one of the boys who was playing. The sole of his right shoe had almost completely fallen off. However, he was doing everything he could in order to continue to play soccer with his torn shoe. These shoes were obviously not suitable to be worn anymore, let alone to play soccer in. Thanks to the lesson given earlier that week, my immediate reaction was, “Of course I want to give him my pair of tennis shoes.” So I took my shoes off and had him put them on and they fit. I told him he could keep them.
This situation really defines how God opened my eyes through this trip to Bolivia. Before, I think it would have been extremely difficult to give up any pair of tennis shoes to a stranger, let alone my favorite pair. But in that moment, all I could think about were his needs. And I believe that’s exactly the mindset that God wants us to have with everyone.