Our vehicle couldn’t go any further. A river impeded our progress. We were seemingly in the middle of nowhere in Guatemala. People of the Quiche tribe were supposedly waiting for us on the other side of the water. Children who needed help were anxiously hoping to see us, but we simply didn’t know where they were. 

And then we found them. About a hundred people welcomed us like we were royalty. The journey was worth it. We had new friends and an opportunity to expand our ministry. 

And there it was. I could see it standing in front of me. The people could not have been prouder of anything. It was spotless. It looked like it was scrubbed, polished, and cleaned several times a day. Yes, a toilet stood in the middle of this small community. 

The toilet had never been used. Some missionary had built it for them. But it was too precious for any of the village to have used it. No one had ever gone to this outhouse before. So they asked me if I would. I didn’t know how to refuse. It was like the greatest honor that they could bestow on me. As I went in, all the villagers surrounded the latrine. And when I came out—they applauded. People were ecstatic. And the cleaning crew got busy to make sure it was spotless again. 

And next on the agenda, their tribal leader gave me a Coke. Somehow he had heard that I liked Cokes. So I drank it. As I swallowed this tasty beverage, I looked around and noticed that there were no stores here. Where did they get the Coke? They had walked over a day’s journey to get me this soda. And it took about a day’s wages to purchase it. 

What a lesson I learned! And I didn’t want to forget it. They gave me their best. They went beyond what was expected. They gave me more than what they had for themselves. Yes, they gave their best. They were poor. But they still tried to make sure I got their best. Whether it was a latrine or a Coke—they wanted me to be getting the best. 

When it comes to the poor, we often give our leftovers because our leftovers are often better than what people in poverty have. I decided that day I wanted to do better than leftovers. We often give our used clothing to people who are poor. Why don’t we give them something new? 

In this rural area of Guatemala, I had been treated the best and given the best. I want to do that for others. And this is the goal of CRF too. We want to give the best water. We want to give the best of educations. We want to give the best food. And we would like to give the best toilets. And I found that nothing thrills a child worldwide more than getting to drink a Coke. What a joy it is to put one of those bottles into the hand of a child in a developing nation.