“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.” (Matthew 5:3, The Message)

The bus’ tires left the smooth pavement and hit dirt and rocks. As the bus jolted down the road, the road got narrower and narrower. After turning tight corners and dodging huge rocks, we arrived at our destination. The small, leaning building was a church in the midst of a shantytown in Costa Rica.

As we drove past the homes that were constructed with random pieces of lumber and corrugated tin, I realized that I was not in Kansas (or Virginia) anymore. As the children ran barefoot along the bus to welcome us and out of curiosity, I knew that whatever my first world problems were, they didn’t compare to the lives of these in this shantytown.

I imagined the words of Mother Teresa as she escorted visitors down her streets of Calcutta:

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