How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
- Psalm 36:7-9
At 5:30pm, the men came running down the hill from where they had been clearing land all day. They were an hour and a half later than they thought they would be and knew we had to get those thirteen sacks of rice across the river before nightfall. As we watched the quick truck repairs, we were instructed, “load up!” with the rumble of the engine. The four of us jumped into the back of the village´s only truck in the middle of the Bolivian jungle, bracing ourselves for the ride of our lives atop the rice sacks. The truck barrelled down the same mountain path it had taken us two hours to hike up earlier in the day. Despite our rush to get down to the river, we stopped at a small clearing in the woods where six people stood with at least ten massive bags of freshly dried coca leafs. We stopped, and in the blink of an eye we were off again with the new cargo piled on top and six new companions on the truck. There was not one face without a smile and the light of adventure (and a little fear) flashing in every eye. We arrived at the river bank, where the canoe driver readied his small bark for the heavy load. The truck screeched to a halt, and everyone jumped off the back of the truck, hauled the rice sacks to the river and joyfully launched the canoe just as the sun was setting. As dusk fell that night on the river banks, so also did God's presence fall all around me. I realized that God had been with us from the highest mountain to the deepest valley, but I realized that I had met the hands and face of Christ in every helping hand and willing spirit of the least of these, my sisters and brothers, who helped a neighbor carry his rice back into town.