Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One by One

  • Many Latin American countries have pepenadores, Spanish slang for people who scour dumps for recyclable goods they can sell.  But Honduras has the highest rate of children working at the dumps.  The smell in the dump is so foul it burns the nostrils and makes the eyes tear, but the children are so busy collecting anything they can use ( shoes to wear, a broken toy to play with, a piece of cake to eat, chicken bones to pick, plastic or paper to sell) that they do not notice the putrid air. 
  • Paraphrase from a young woman's blog...the toddler rooms are by far the saddest places to view in a Honduran orphanage.  There might be one toy in a room full of children.  There is one worker for 20 children.  For their own safety and the safety of others in the room, the more aggressive children are bound up with pieces of fabric.  "Staring back into my eyes, without speaking a word or making a movement, they tell me that their story is more than either of us can bear."
  • Thirteen precious, hungry, thirsty, love starved, brown haired, brown eyed children live down a dirt road between two tobacco fields in unsupervised squalor ten miles from my NC home.  Their families are migrant workers.  Their needs are not being met.  They will be here and gone.  The cycle will go on and on. 

"God dreams that
every one of us will see that we are all brothers and  sisters."

  • There are an estimated 167+ million orphans in the world.
  • Over 500,000 children in the US currently reside in some form of  foster care.
  • Gospel for Asia serves only 60,000 of the estimated 1+ million low caste children in India.

"God knit her together in her mother's womb.
She is deep in the trenches, but she is fearfully and wonderfully made."

Statistics can make a situation seem hopeless.

And then, just when the realities of the world leave you feeling powerless, thunder roars and lightning strikes:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

"Love your neighbor as yourself."  Matthew 22:39

"...through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  Romans 5:2-5

Do you see it?  God has a plan for each ONE.  For each ONE there is a future and a hope.  He commands us to love our neighbor.  Our hope is in Him.  He IS the hope.  We are the hands and feet.  His love is the conduit for each ONE.  God sees each ONE.  His heart breaks for each ONE.  He loves each ONE.

The need is almost overwhelming.  The sheer numbers drive us to despair.  But don't be daunted by the size of the task; you CAN make a difference in the life of a child. 

In some parts of the world, when the tide comes in from the ocean, it brings with it thousands of starfish.  Then the tide recedes and leaves thousands of them behind on the shore.  Many of these starfish cannot make it back to the safety of the water before the sun comes up and dries them out.

A man was walking along the shore one day and witnessed this sight.  He stared at all the starfish, saddened that so many would die.

Then he saw a young boy walking in the other direction.  The lad would stop and pick up a starfish and throw it into the ocean.  He continued to do this, picking up one after the other and throwing them back into the water.

"Why are you doing that?" the man asked the boy.  "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of shore?  You're wasting your time.  You'll never make a difference."

The boy simply picked up another starfish and hurled it back into the ocean.  As it landed, he said, "I made s difference for that ONE."

Do you see it?  ONE by ONE, you and I can make a difference!

Let's not let what we can't do stop us from doing what we can.

"God made them.  God loves them.
Jesus wants to be their friend forever"


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