While people in the U.S. are consumed with buying the hottest new products for Christmas (and waiting HOURS for stores to open on Black Friday….), I am living in a completely different world here in Uganda. And sure, I’m a typical 23 year old girl, so I enjoy shopping…but I have to say, I don’t miss the western world’s push to buy the latest, trendiest things this holiday season.
It really puts things in perspective for me when I talk to my neighbor friend who is 18 and a single mom of a 1-year-old baby; she’s struggling for money and yesterday literally ran out of food and is completely on her own to provide for her baby. I also am finding myself trying to encourage a girl whose mom is ready to give up on life and is daily telling her children, “it would just be better if I ended my life….” because she owes the landlord a few months’ rent.
The last few days, I have been overwhelmed by the needs that I see around me. It’s easy to ignore the need and make excuses. I’ll be honest, one excuse I find myself subconsciously making is: “If I help this person by giving them food, etc---then the entire neighborhood will be knocking on my door, and I can’t help everyone.”
But over the weekend, God keeps reminding me that I can’t sit back and do nothing. He has blessed me with more than I need—so how can I not give to others?? Even if I can just help a few individual people, that’s what we’re called to do! I find myself worrying about the results—“what if this happens?” or “what if this person does this?” but the results are NOT up to us. If we’re obeying Him, He’ll take care of the rest.
Really take a minute to read the excellent John Piper quote below. Be challenged. Be encouraged.
These photos show children whose parents have either abandoned them, given up on them, or have died. They’re “the least of these”—even the government hardly wants to deal with them. But He thinks they’re beautiful. [please notice how thrilled they were to receive a simple TOOTHBRUSH.]
James didn't say "True religion is converting orphans." He didn't say "True religion is making orphans mature and successful adults." He said "True religion is visiting orphans." Results are God's business alone. Obedience is ours by His grace- by faith in future grace. When we grasp this we will be freed from our earthbound way of thinking & released to minister to the ones who are least likely to thank us.
– John Piper