by Billy Glosson
As grace upon grace has been extended to me I promise to love you unconditionally. That’s what I told my wife. I promised to share my life with her. Grace upon grace. That’s what I have been shown in Christ. Today those words played through my head. I woke up early, spoke briefly with my wife and crammed breakfast. I quickly packed my day pack and loaded into the van.
Our team pulled under an overpass. We spilled out of the van onto the trash littered street and meet up with a Brazilian ministry. We were going to be walking to a place nicknamed Crackland. It’s a homeless community of crack/cocaine addicts. Our goal was to minister to the homeless addicts by providing breakfast, music, and a way out of Crackland. We walked down a back alley singing this little light of mine. The sewage smell was almost palpable. It was an extremely surreal experience.
We found our way to a hole in the wall...literally. We all climbed through and walked down a hill across train tracks. We made several stops throughout Crackland. Trash upon trash stacked beside make shift shacks. As we poured juice and handed out bread it played through my head. Grace upon grace. At that very moment I missed my wife Hannah. I longed for her to be with me. Her heart aches for the homeless and destitute. I could see her praying with the women there. I can’t explain what it means to miss someone so much it aches. But at that moment it hit me. Grace upon grace. As much as I love and miss my bride, what does Jesus see in the crack addict taking bread from my hand? My eyes saw a broken man...yet Jesus sees the bride he has longed for, that he aches for. Grace upon grace.
I was once lost. Now I am found. Filthy man was I. But now I stand as an adopted son awaiting a wedding feast like none other.
I rode in silence on the way to Rio das Pedras. I was overcome with this thought. Christ overcame the grave to claim me. As we drove I saw so many people. I realized the love of God is greater than I could ever begin to imagine.
At Rio das Pedras we continued with our third day of VBS. Over the last few days, Rob Gaskin and I have been meeting with a group of young men while the team conducts the VBS program. We had been doing a Bible study with Google translate and broken Portuguese. Today we finally had a translator! We started with Romans 5 and ask the guys to tell us the comparison between Adam and Christ. After that we spent time looking throughout the Old Testament for images that point to Jesus. We talked about Passover, the Tabernacle, and more. I can’t explain the joy it is to teach an eager young Christian what Justification means. At the end we concluded with the comparison of Jesus and Moses. We showed them that we now have access to God through Jesus. We have a perfect mediator. A great high priest. Grace upon grace.
The evening concluded with a special service. We shared in song and testimonies. I was scheduled to preach. I shared a message from Ephesians two on recounting where we were before Christ to where we are now. We often forget the gospel. We choose to look at ourselves based on how well we are doing at being a Christian. It’s always moving to be with brothers and sisters here. They are all so eager to here the word proclaimed. As I preached I realized I had been guilty this week of forgetting the gospel. We quickly forget everything Christ accomplished. It was on the cross he showed grace upon grace. May we never grow tired of this grace. May we be moved by His great love. Pray for Brazil.