The kids from Nariño were happy, because it was an extraordinary experience for them. Brother Gustavo called me and commented that they came back very enthusiastic, that they are now working with a lot of excitement in the congregation and that they are making plans to go to the nearby towns where Gustavo knows people in order to preach there.
For these boys the ability to go there and grow spiritually, it also represents the ability to know more young people like them who love the Lord, the opportunity for them to know other places, the opportunity to be at such a beautiful site with very comfortable beds, with a good bathroom, and with three meals a day.
Here is an excerpt from another email:
The general comments from so many of the young people… are very good. The kids arrived home very content and with a very good attitude in spiritual aspects… seeing a general summary of the photos, especially of the brothers who were coming from Tumaco, Ipiales and Pasto, and observing the passage of the trip for all of them was very touching for me… seeing the humility of them all, knowing that even in the middle of the poverty in which they live the Lord was blessing them to be able to go to the Encuentro. For many it was the first time that they had left their village, and for many it was the first week of their lives that they were fed correctly, slept in clean beds and felt really loved by many. [I have] complete certainty they will never forget this experience in their lives.
These young people returned home with new spiritual desire, but the physical aspects mentioned above (beds, food, etc.) touch the heart. I think of a benefit Paul described for brethren who met his physical needs. “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.” (Philippians 4:17) The Lord notices those who care for His own.
The saints in Corinth, with their many problems, still helped brethren in need. Paul’s commendations to them included these promises.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-14)
All of these benefits [emphasis mine] hold true for any Christian attending to needs among God’s people. Even for the individuals in the U.S. who helped these kids and others spend a full week with many Christians in a spiritual environment. Everyone gains and grows, even if some never set foot inside Colombia.