My name is Suler Acosta. I’m a pastor in Philly and went to see Reparando at the Trocadero on March 15. It was an awesome experience. Having been in Guatemala and having met many of the main characters in the documentary, I was impacted again by the heart and soul of Tita and Shorty. The film does not dilute nor distort the reality of their passion for these people. What captivates me about this film is the missional implications watching this film has for my church, for your church. You cannot watch this film and say, “How nice that this is happening in Guatemala. I’m so proud of them.” You can’t sit back, enjoy this film, and then go home thinking all is well in your city and community. This film brings to the foreground the tragedy and the beauty that is so often overlooked by most Guatemalans. This is an untold story in Guatemala. The producers of the film have done what Moses did in Exodus 1. They have given names to the unsung heroes—women and men who obeyed and followed God into the heart places to find His heart—and have relegated to a footnote the names of those this world deems powerful.

A film like this forces me and my church to ask, “Are we not responsible to do what Athentikos has done? We are called to give voice to those in the margins of our community; to honor and bless the marginalized in our neighborhoods; to run with eager expectations and await the revelation of the glory of the children of God in broken houses, questionable lives, and back-alleys filled with darkness. For from there, God will cry out as a helpless babe. When we look for the Savior in the garages of our city and not in the Hiltons, when we look for where grace is overflowing in this world, we must follow the lead of this film—we must ask, “Where are the basureros, the Limonadas in my community? Who are those I have ignored in my neighborhood?” As the narrator says, “We must go into the world asking beautiful questions and respond with our lives.” To return to our communities of faith resolved to follow that conviction is the greatest compliment we can give to this film. I hope and pray we in Philly would do just that.  I pray that we will continue to pursue ways by which we can give voice to the undocumented victim of human trafficking in our city. That we will work hard in providing a voice for those who live in unsanitary, unsafe properties of absentee landlords. That we will be a church that will raise up and, rather than punish and yell at our teen boys, will come alongside and mentor our fatherless young men. It is my prayer that we will be active in providing outlets of opportunity for those who feel locked-in into the neighborhoods that have been red-lined. For these and other creative, Holy-Spirit filled ideas, we pray, “Lord, come quickly to our help.” This is our prayer.

 

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