God, where are you?

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.


You pile into a van that feels like a limousine as you pass by other rundown cars on the streets of Managua.

The windows and doors must remain locked for safety as it is known that the gringos in this ‘nice’ vehicle ‘have money.’

Motorbikes weave in and out, and horses that look like they haven’t eaten in weeks pass on both sides. Street vendors offer anything that might give them some money to feed their families.

At each stoplight, your vehicle is bombarded by children juggling or people in wheelchairs begging. You hand them packages of rice and crackers, along with a ‘God bless you.’ This may be all they will eat today.

Oh God. Where are you?

You cross a bridge into the rural countryside and drive down a road that is more garbage than dirt. There are very few cars, and you feel guilty as you watch women and children carrying items on their heads while they walk barefoot or with worn out shoes.

On each side, you see sticks with tin or garbage bags lying against them. They are the size of a small room in your house. This is someone’s home. Five, six, seven or more people live in this one room, with little furniture. A barrel of water to wash, cook and bathe must not be wasted, for they have to buy water, being the dry season.

Oh God. Where are you?

You arrive at a church that you have been told is a huge blessing to the community. They are so excited that it is finished, and that the gringos who helped to build it are here.

As you round the corner, you are taken aback at the sight of a cement building, smaller than most church sanctuary’s, with simple holes for windows, a dirt floor, no chairs and a metal roof. Nothing … nothing compared to our church.

Oh God. Where are you?

Then they come. They speak Spanish only, and understand little English, but they greet you with kisses and tears. Maria, a young girl who steals your heart, runs to hug you as if you had known each other all of your life.

She’s dressed in a skirt and shirt that I would put on my daughter as play clothes. You find out that this is one of two outfits she owns, and it’s her best, worn to welcome you.

Everyone gathers together in a circle - on the dirt floor. They begin to sing praise songs to God, with just their voices. You close your eyes and listen. Though you don’t understand the language, you hear it.

God, there you are.

Tears pour down your cheeks as you see God bridge the language barrier.

You travel down the dusty roads going to what we would call shacks, telling people about God and inviting them to service. You pray as you are not able to understand what is being said, but you see Him. He’s here. God’s in the response of the people. He’s in the voice of the person sharing His message. He’s in the smile of the little children who have nothing.

You attend a kid’s church where they do not have paper or crayons for the children to use and only three cups to share among them. But you look at their happy faces and feel their hugs and you know He is there.

In the little, He is there.

Then you return to Canada, to the everything … to the comfort … to the food and possessions and you wonder, where is God?


            This is an excerpt from a written commentary by April Banks.


Ken Banks is the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Truro. You can contact him at

Organizations: APRIL BANKS, Ken Banks, Wesleyan Church

Geographic location: Canada, Truro

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page