From the Field

Portrait of a Jacaranda Tree: Hope for a Renewed City

From the Field

Portrait of a Jacaranda Tree: Hope for a Renewed City

By April 26, 2024May 16th, 2024No Comments

Editor’s Note: This post from the field was written by one of our secure workers who has chosen to keep their identity anonymous. We have many workers serving with Serge in closed-access countries around the world.

“But I won’t wait, resting my bones
I’ll take these foolishness roads of grace
And run toward the dawn”

Shadows of the DawnThe Gray Havens

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Often, hope gets relegated to some far-off and distant dream, something unreachable. Like the highest shelf of the pantry you could never reach as a small child, even with a stool to stand on.

Too regularly, we focus on what is broken, what needs mending and rescuing. To be sure, there is much that is broken, and all of us need saving. However, I think that we keep our gaze too often staring down at the dust and rubbish of this world, not lifting our eyes to see the places and people where God is already at work, already bringing His Kingdom crashing into ours, like some unrestrained meteor of grace.

When my eyes stay down, all I can see is the trash, the sewage, the dust, the damage. All I can focus on is one foot in front of the next, trying not to trip over my feet and twist an ankle or end up face-first in the offage of discarded places.

There are real and true pains and losses. Yet, there are also true and higher beauties beyond the dust and broken things if I lift my eyes to see them.

As I walk through the slum, I have to stop and lift my eyes up every now and then to see the trees that still bloom with the random beauty of pink, yellow, orange, and purple blossoms.

I have to see that hope is not so far off. That the Kingdom is nearer than it seems. That God has walked these streets ahead of me, His Spirit hovering over the sleeping street boy and wandering refugee, the same as He hovers His grace over me and all this bleeding, broken, hoping world.

When I lift up my eyes, I see the businesses thriving and bustling in spite of a drastically plunging economy.

I see the strong young women who refuse to simply accept the role that has been forced on them by generations of harsh patriarchy.

I see the refugees who refuse to give up on the dream of a home restored.

I see a community with so much to offer the world, working hard for peace and reconciliation.

I see my friend who prays and seeks the divine in the only way he knows, and I hope and pray that the Kingdom of grace, the love of Jesus, is not so far away from reaching deep down into his heart and changing everything. 

When I look up, I see hope.

Hope is the jacaranda tree that blooms in the city slum. It’s beautiful, defiant goodness that grows in places where they say, You shouldn’t exist here.

It’s grace that sees what is and, without denying the loss and pain, chooses to believe that what is, is not always what should be. That one day all the fallen things will be made right and new.

But hope is not some far-off thing. Hope is immediate. Hope is love enduring in the broken places. Both in the world and in the jagged edges of our not-yet-whole hearts. Hope does not put off the dream until tomorrow. It instead states: tomorrow will start today. The dream begins to become reality now.

Jesus is not as far off as you might have thought. He is close and holding the only real hope we’ve got.

“And when I rise and dawn turns to day
I’ll shine bright as the sun
And these roads that I’ve run, will be wise.”

Shadows of the DawnThe Gray Havens
Share this story:


This individual is a missionary, pastor, or ministry leader who has chosen to keep their identity anonymous in order to protect their own safety and the safety of those they serve. At Serge, we have many workers serving in closed-access countries around the world and we prioritize this security, which is essential for the success of their mission.