Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 12, 2010

Let God Ruin You!

   I leave for India in a few days with my son and a team from Kingsland. Our team will serve at Mother Teresa’s homes for the destitute and dying in Kolkata. When Mother Teresa died quietly at her home in Kolkata on September 5, 1997, the world mourned her death. However, her work did not die with her. The Missionaries of Charity continue the good work she started in Kolkata and at five-hundred other locations around the planet. One of the best things about volunteering at her homes is meeting so many interesting people. Years after Mother Teresa’s death, thousands of people from around the world continue to travel to Kolkata annually to serve in the homes she established.

   While touring in Israel last March, I met a mother and daughter from Chile. We talked about travel with a purpose as we made our way down Masada’s steep Snake Trail. When I mentioned that I had recently volunteered at Mother Teresa’s homes in Kolkata, the daughter told me that she had also volunteered there last summer. A couple of months later, I challenged a group in Kashmir to follow Mother Teresa’s example of looking for Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. One young lady in the group shared that she had spent several weeks serving at Mother Teresa’s homes. Mother Teresa continues to posthumously inspire people from all over the world to serve the poorest of the poor.

   Last week, one of our Kolkata team members asked me a few questions about how much clothing to pack and whether we will be able to have our clothes laundered. And then my friend asked, “Do you think my clothes will get ruined.” I smiled and replied, “No, but you will get ruined.” Perhaps the best way to describe what happens to those who serve the least of these is that God ruins them. When you serve broken and discarded human beings like those that Mother Teresa swept off the streets and into her homes, your life will never be as neat and crisp as it once was. You will have a difficult time whining like Goldilocks because something is too hot or too cold or too hard or too soft. Stuff like that just won’t seem as important as it once did.

   Serving the least of these will ruin the way in which you look at the world. No longer will you be able to breeze through life without regard for the neglected and often invisible people who inhabit the world of your peripheral vision. You will have to look and you will have to act because that person may be Jesus in His distressing disguise. You will find it a little harder to neglect the hurting or to convince yourself that the guy holding the cardboard sign on the street corner is out to scam you. Getting scammed is always a possibility but should never become a deterrent for doing nothing at all. Those who are ruined err on the side of helping.

   Serving others will also ruin the way in which you think. God will make it difficult for you to think only about yourself. He will guide you to “not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). You will find yourself wrestling with choices about how to spend money or where to invest time. You will have to reconsider and possibly reorder your priorities to reflect God’s concern for “orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27) and the most vulnerable members of society. Ruined people ask what they can do to make a difference and then do something to make a difference.

   Now, here is some good news: you don’t have to go all the way to Kolkata to get ruined. God can ruin you right where you are if you will allow Him to use you to love others without condition and serve them without hesitation. And, once you do, you will never be the same again — you’ll be a much better person. So, let God ruin you for His glory and for the good of others. Join the ranks of the ruined who are working to make the world a better place.


  1. Thank you…for your words and example and constant challenge to a higher level of commitment. Will be anxious to hear Jonathan’s words after this trip. Praying~

  2. Thanks for your prayers, Celia. Will post from India as I have opportunity.

  3. Hi Omar,
    I will be praying for you.
    Is this a trip suitable for high school kids? I would love to be able to plan a trip for our kids that would change them.
    Please let me know your thoughts.
    Blessings to you and your group.

  4. Hi Terri…

    Yes, this trip is suitable for older high school kids (11th and 12th grades). Depending on where students are assigned to serve, there is the potential to see one or more people die. This is a sobering and life-changing experience. I am happy to give you more guidance on how to prepare should you decide to pursue a trip like this.


  5. Hi Omar,
    Am praying for your group as you arrive and serve in Kolkata. Am anxiously awaiting your report when you get back – especially from Trisha as we contemplate sending our seniors to minister there. My daughter is ready to GO and I would also like to come on the mission trip this summer if we can raise the funds. We love you all and are praying and will be looking for your messages each day!

  6. Hi Laurie,

    At the airport now with our team. Thanks for your prayers. We need and appreciate them. Looking forward to a meaningful trip. Will post as I have opportunity.


  7. I am looking for a chance for God to ruin me here, but my heart is with you and your team in India today. You are all covered in prayer from Oklahoma! Much love and strength to you all- Tracey

    O- Please pray for Matthew’s eyes to be healed. T

  8. Hi Tracey…

    Thanks so much for your prayers. God is doing some amazing things here. Please tell Matthew that I am praying for him. Miss you and your sweet family.


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