Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stop for the one in front of you.

I do my best not to get "religious" here on the blog, but every now and then I think I need to share my belief in more then just deeds, but make it clear with words... Words are often difficult to find for us here.. But what comes to mind on days like today. are these words....
" Pure religion that is pleasing to God our father is this ... To visit the widows and orphans in their distress and to keep yourself unspoiled by the world" Sometimes that is a tall order, but I believe that it has to be at the core of what we are doing here.
Today we went to visit a Widow in her distress... She invited us into the burned out shell of her home. Here is her storey.
She has been working at the Invalid home for over 40 years. It is a very poor paying job, about $80 a month, but she continues to do it because they are so short staffed, and can not find a new generation of workers willing to work for so little , and she is concerned about the men. A couple months ago, her husband died, leaving her a widow. At the 40 day mark after a death it is customary to have a funeral. For her it was a more significant day then she ever could have imagined.
She pulled together what money she had, got dressed up and went off to the gathering place for the service.. leaving her home, she had no idea that fire would destroy everything that she had left.. The cause was a cheep faulty DVD player.. After spending what resources she had on the funeral, she returned home to an apartment engulfed in flames.

We walked around in her home today .. you could still smell the smoke despite the repairs that have been started.. The neighbours have rounded up a small loan for her that has helped to get most of the cleanup started, and some plastering and primer painting done. Someone has lent her a front door until she can get one. They have done what they can to help her, and in fact we were surprised that so much has been done, but the simple fact is that she is at the end...
I have found myself wondering how many times our heart can be broken here, and if we will ever become desensitised to what we see.. I have watched the affect situations have had on teams like the Snarrs that were just here.. and thought that maybe I am becoming a little hard.. then today I stand in the centre of dispar, and realize that once again my heart is broken...
There are situations that have been caused by our own foolishness, there are situations that are a result of cruelty from others, and then there are situations like this that have no fault... I can remember one time, actually it was in the invalid home the first time I was their that I came away questioning God.. I asked my friend Ron "Where is God in this?" his response was simple

" The fact that you are there to ask such a question is proof that He is their"

That actually made sense to me.. because I know that God works through people , and that is why he desires that we visit the widow in her distress, so that He will be seen in the situation... but what kind of obligation does that leave me, and in turn, what kind of obligation does that leave those of you who have had a part of sending us...

A friend of ours wrote a song that speaks about " We are His hands extended " so realizing this, this is what these hands need to do ...

We began today by bringing her new cloths and shoes..

1. We need to help her to replace her passport, documents and confirm ownership of the apartment $200

2. Get the Gas hocked back up so she can cook $100

3. Paint the walls again and put down new floors $300

4. Replace all the windows and doors $400

5. New electrical outlets and fixtures $200

6. Replace bed and other furniture $500

That comes in at about $1700 a lot of money to put her life back together .. Then I get this thought .. That is a lot of money, and there are so many other needs here.. should we be helping her?

I think of something that was told to me a few weeks ago by one of our sponsors... "We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others " and I realize the we have all been blessed sooooo much, and this is a lady that lives her life to be a blessing to others..
so yes I will make the calls today and aim to start the work on Monday, Please join me on this one...as we stop for the one in front of us..

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