Galatians 5:22–23a (ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
We can hardly talk about the Holy Spirit’s work through and presence in our lives without mentioning the fruit of the Spirit. We all know that we cannot WILL the fruit of the Spirit to grow in our lives. It is a natural outcome of the Spirit’s work in us and is undeniable evidence of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. At times, depending on the context, it can be quite miraculous.
I had one of those experiences recently. I was on a flight that made a harrowing emergency landing. As I sat there, with my oxygen mask on, praying, I prepared to face death, and then fervently prayed that Jesus would take control of the plane. Throughout that 30-minute experience I was amazed at the peace I felt. I call it a holy peace. It was truly miraculous and solid evidence that the Spirit dwells within me.
In our ChildHope schools we see the fruit — this evidence of the Spirit’s presence — daily in the children. What makes it miraculous is that it makes no human sense considering the context in which many of these children live.
Let’s look at Venezuela. The situation there is so very tragic.
- Once the wealthiest, most stable democracy in Latin America, Venezuelans are now plagued with political crisis and instability.
- More than 5 million people or 15% of the population have fled their home country seeking just the basics — food.
- Hyperinflation and food scarcity makes it difficult to get enough to eat and people are wasting away.
- Currently the average Venezuelan is poorer than the average Haitian. (Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world outside of Africa.)
- And then there is a pandemic… You can see the despair on the faces of the people in the streets .
But inside the ChildHope school there is hope, there is good news… the Kingdom of God is present. The Spirit is healing the broken hearted, freeing the captives, comforting those who mourn, and pouring out the oil of joy! The Spirit dwells in the lives of the children, and it is evidenced by the fruit. In the midst of despair these children live in hope! Aurora from Venezuela sent me a video to tell us about her joy. I trust it will fill you with joy.
This joy is repeated in the lives of children in ChildHope schools throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as is love and peace and all the fruit of the Spirit — even in the midst of crisis, of despair in the midst of a pandemic. The Spirit dwells within and the fruit of the Spirit is expressed through the lives of the children. This is truly miraculous!
Mary Kathleen Mahon, Ph.D.
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Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.