We have a group of women and children that we pick up from a very poor area. Some of them have been coming faithfully for a while now. One family is the mother and three children that we took a Christmas box to this year, some of you may have seen the photos on my Facebook page. She is always bringing visitors with her. Many of the ones she brings are mothers with babies. Because they are so poor, many of them don't get to eat three meals a day like we do. In fact, on Sunday mornings in our Jr. Church, I have started serving a snack because so many of them haven't had breakfast. They seem to pay attention a bit better when they have food in their tummies! One of the girls that had been coming, named Francesca (who is not saved yet), was pregnant, we found out recently that she is only 16. I don't know a lot about her, but I do know she is living with a grandpa or grandma, not sure which. Anyways, she had been coming regularly and then we didn't see her for a month. When she came back a few weeks ago, she had her new, month old baby with her. Over the last two weeks, we found out some of the things that have happened with her in the last month. We found out that she almost died while giving birth (some of you may remember my story about the deaf lady from our church who had given birth and how bad the clinics are here). It is a very common thing here for girls that age to die while giving birth. They had to give her two units of blood afterwards and the first one poured right out her nose and mouth. While she was fighting for her life in the clinic they had to give her baby formula. The reason that is a bad thing is because now that she is home, (because she is so poor) she can't buy formula for her baby or food for herself. We found out that she has begged a little food here and there from her neighbors. We also found out that she is giving her baby carrot juice, because that is all she can get. We were able to get her a box of food and a bit of formula. We are currently in the process of trying to talk to a company here that makes formula, to see if we can get some donated for these ladies that we are working with (she isn't the only one in this situation). After hearing about this, one of my family members gave some money to get her some formula. The Bible gives us many verses about feeding the poor so I believe it is something we should take seriously.
Deuteronomy 15:11 - For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Proverbs 19:17 - He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Proverbs 28:27 - He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
Proverbs 14:31 - He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
It's hard sometimes to remember that when we are constantly bombarded with people begging. It's easy to become calloused to it. I noticed Wednesday night that one of the little boys who comes was having problems getting his shoes on. When I bent down to help him I discovered that his shoes were too tight and were cutting into the back of his foot. I traced his foot on a piece of paper and when I got home I searched through my boys shoes and was able to find a pair of sandals that I think will fit him, it's not tennis shoes (which is what he was wearing, pink ones at that) but it will work.
I love giving to others. I love putting a smile on someone's face by taking them a little treat! And I also love to receive gifts but I have such a hard time receiving gifts from people who hardly have anything! There are two people, who are among the poorest in our church, that have been bringing me "gifts". One is an older lady from a very poor area and she has been bringing me a little bag of veggies every Sunday. I feel so guilty taking it from her but I can't hurt her feeling either! The other is a blind and deaf man in our church. He started giving me little bags of flavored peanuts and then the other day gave me a bag full of them. I feel so humbled when they do that! There is so much that we could learn from them. They have so little but have such a giving spirit! If only we were all so willing to give of what we had. I pray that God will bless them richly!
Why did I tell you all of this? Is it because I am hoping to bring tears to your eyes? Is it because I want you to consider helping us with donations? Is it because I want you to see how good you have it? No, none of this. I just wanted to share what been on my heart lately. To share a bit more of our ministry with you. To show you how you can pray for our ministry. Maybe to personalize our ministry a little more. Thank you for your interest in our ministry.
|David, the one who needs shoes.|
|German, deaf and blind, loves to bring me peanuts.|
|Don't let those chubby cheeks fool ya! She is very skinny!|
|Antonia, the one who brings me veggies.|