I remember traveling to Quito, South America years ago with a ministry that I was involved with. On this particular trip I had made a pact with the girls on the team that I would NOT wear any makeup for the whole time. Being considered "high maintenance" is somewhat of a problem when traveling with those that are not. But I gladly agreed, accepting the challenge. Actually though, not being able to look in a mirror, fix our hair, or wear stylish feminine clothing was not really a problem for any of us. The focus was on meeting the needs of others. We journeyed deep into the Amazon rain forest. Our team traveled on a bus up steep single lane pathways until we hit a mudslide where all traffic was at a stand still. We continued on foot until we were able to jump in the back of a pick up truck, then camped with a YWAM base, and flew in a 6 seater prop plane into a small village in the middle of the jungle. As we landed on the dirt runway we witnessed the killing of a pig that would be served in our honor at a dinner later that evening.
Standing out in my mind were the children of this village. They had extreme cases of head lice which were clearly visible with their dark hair. Yet without toys, running water, or electricity, these children were all smiles the entire time. We didn't speak the same language, but we communicated through the missionaries that traveled with us. The way the people of this village worked together as a team, respecting each other and our group of outsiders, spoke volumes about their character. They made more of an impact on my life than I could have ever made on theirs.
In America, we don’t live in extreme environments where we are FORCED to consider the needs of others. In our country, in many ways we are pushed to do the exact opposite.
WE CONSIDER OUR OWN WANTS AND NEEDS.
We want attention.
We will get attention from immodest behavior and dress.
Therefore, we must push the lines of immodest behavior to get the attention we desire.
Honestly, it appears many people, young and old, men and women, are completely aware of the affect they have on the opposite sex with how they dress. Yet this knowledge inspires more immodesty and not less.
How we looked as young women in this particular environment, more than others, was not important. These people were just interested in the love and message we had to share. Even though most of us viewing this blog do not live in a third world country, is it nonsense to consider others when we get dressed in the morning? Should we feel a responsibility for the weakness of others? Do we want people to be considerate of our challenges and struggles in other areas? Does dressing modestly always keep someone from sexual thoughts? If you believe in the Bible as we do, what does it have to say about prioritizing the needs of others over our own? While many of us don't live in a third world country, what can we learn from people and culture who prioritize the group over individual wants?
Written by: Sarah Powers
These are some of the actual photos taken on the mission trip described above.