Have you ever looked into a magnified mirror? It is honestly disheartening. It shows you every imperfection, every blemish, every horrible detail of your image.

For me, the Trek has served as a giant magnified mirror that God has held up against me. I see all my brokenness, all my selfish imperfections. and when I try to turn my eyes away, God pushes the mirror closer, showing me how broken I am.

Our host took us to meet a pastor that had mentored her in the past. As we sat at the table with him, he asked us to look at Matthew 8:1-4...the instance in which Jesus heals a man with leprosy. Jesus physically touches the leper to heal him. what is interesting is that Jesus could have healed him with just his words, but Jesus knew that for the man to be fully healed - spiritually, socially and of course physically - touching him was completely necessary.

The pastor then turned to us and asked, "Do you touch lepers in Chantamit like Jesus did in this passage? With love and care? Or do you hesitate when you touch and secretly clean your hands after?"

My heart sank. It was like he could see right through me into my soul. I honestly did not want to touch the lepers because I was afraid and even felt superior to them. Who am I to deny them the unconditional love that Jesus has for them? The love that has been withheld from them for their entire life? I was horrible. I was no better than the people that had scorned them for their disease and ostracized them to a community outside, far from the eyes of the elite. I was not even loving like a Christian is called.

Later that week, we were visiting one of the elderly aunties in the village. She is disabled from her leprosy, lives alone and as a result of these factors is very lonely. As we spent time with her, we talked about the gospel and asked her if she wanted to accept Christ. she said she was not yet ready, but asked if we could pray that she would have an open heart and that Christ would reveal himself to her.

As we started praying for her, I stretched my hand toward her and she grabbed it. We were holding hands so tightly, yet so gently. When we finished, we squeezed each others' hands and smiled with joy in our eyes.

Seeing all of your brokenness is hard, but God is seeking to make us more beautiful, more Christ-like. He seeks to make us people who are beautiful followers of the King of Glory.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

- Michael Jones