OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne morning last week, I walked out to our back patio. I immediately noticed the door askew on the sheet-metal toolshed. The lock was still on, but someone wrenched out the bottom hinges just enough to steal a power drill and a circular saw.

I felt angry, violated, and slightly impressed. I wouldn’t climb into that shed in the dark! The stealthy thief snuck in without waking us, even though our bedroom window isn’t far from the shed.

In the low-income part of Mazatlán, Mexico where I live, most houses have iron bars across the windows and doors—with reason. There are a lot of sticky fingers. It’s not so much a question of if someone will steal something from you—more of when. I know people who have had wet clothes stolen off of their clothesline!

At first, I wanted to buy ten more locks. Then again, what’s that old cliché? You don’t see a trailer behind a hearse. You can’t take it with you.

Jesus warned us to be careful of what we consider to be treasure.

????????????????????????????Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jesus obviously understood that the more we own, the more we care about what we own. I like my possessions, but I don’t want possessions to possess me. My prayer today is that Jesus would remind me of what’s truly important. Jesus, help me remember that heavenly treasure way surpasses big screen TVs, cellphones, jewels, and certainly some old power tools.

Ellen Benefield

In Her Own Words: My husband Kyle grew up planning to be a doctor. He met Jesus late in high school. Our first year in college, we went to a church planting conference. He very clearly heard the Holy Spirit tell him that he would be a church planter in Latin America. He argued for a while, and eventually gave in. In the 12 years that have followed, he hasn't looked back. When we told me his new plan, I was thrilled. I never saw myself as a doctor's wife. We got married, finished out degrees, and spent 9 months in training at our local church. In the summer of 2007, we loaded up my grandpa's pickup and moved to Mazatlan, Mexico.

Seven years later, we have three small children and a bustling church in the middle of a low-income neighborhood. We consistently meet women who think they need to be perfect before they can connect with God. Poverty puts people in difficult situations, and many have made choices they aren't proud of as a result. Our church motto is "Imperfect people full of Jesus' love." Over and over again we find ourselves explaining God's wonderful, amazing grace. My favorite part of ministry is watching people hear from the Holy Spirit.

Connect With Ellen Online:
website: mexicomercy.org
twitter: @Ellenbenefield