Archive for January 2011

Tough Times

January 21st, 2011 — 11:50am

As we were taking children home on the van, I had only one more boy left to drop off on a Wednesday evening after church.  He said he would have to go right to bed when he got home since it was his bedtime.  I started asking him what he needed to do to get ready for bed, and I was surprised when he didn’t mention brushing his teeth.  Upon inquiring about it, he said that because toothpaste is so expensive he can only brush his teeth once a day.  He went on to say that his family gets most of their food from the dumpster behind the store.  I was not sure how to respond.  It was not a family I would have suspected with this kind of a problem.  On a regular basis we have families asking for food and such but this is a family that we would not have guessed. The needs in the community are great.


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Life or Death

January 19th, 2011 — 5:42pm

Whenever something keeps coming up over and over again in my conversations or interactions with other people, I often find that it is because God is trying to tell me something.  On both Saturday and Wednesday night of last week I had conversations with children about Heaven and Hell.  The first conversation took place with Ranaja.  After church, Ranaja spent a long time drawing a picture for Jesus.  She wrote, “I love you Jesus” on the paper and drew  a beautiful picture of a rainbow and two people standing together.  When she was finished she brought the picture to me and put it in my hand.  Then she whispered in my ear while pointing, “If we die and I go down there and you go up there, will give this to Jesus for me?”  I have to admit I didn’t quite know what to say to this.  I was shocked that this girl who spent so much time writing a love note to Jesus thought she might go to hell.  I did all I knew to do and held her close and told her that as long as she loved Jesus just as much as she does right now, she never had to worry about going “down there.”  We talked a little while longer and when she left I think she understood, but she still looked a little sad. I realized that she had no assurance of her salvation.  She is a little girl, just 8 years old, and she truly loves Jesus, but somehow she doesn’t realize that this means she is saved from hell.

The second time this came up was a few days later on a Wednesday night when I was outside watching the kids play.  Some of them were misbehaving.  Lacea came up to me and whispered while pointing at the boys who were misbehaving, “They’re going down there.”  I told her that that was a pretty awful thing to say about someone and I asked her why she thought that, “because they’re being bad” she said sincerely.  I told her that if that is the case then we really need to pray for those boys, that they will get to know Jesus and stop being bad because hell is a terrible, terrible place and we don’t want anyone to have to go there.  She nodded and then asked,”Do you know that little red guy with a fork?” Was it God’s plan for him to go to down there?”  I was astounded that this question was coming from an 8 year old.  Once again I felt like I was so unprepared and unqualified to answer.  I said a quick prayer and told her what God put on my heart, “No, God never wanted anyone to go down there, but the devil, that red guy, made really bad choices.  He stopped loving God and went against what God said, so he had to go to hell.  Now when people do the same thing they also have to go down there with the devil.  That is why it is so important for us to love God and listen to him.”

I don’t know exactly why God placed me in these two very similar conversations.  I think that he was trying to remind me that salvation is not something to be taken lightly.  They were a reminder to me to talk to the kids about the salvation message, which  has never been easy for me!  I can spend all kinds of time showing love to kids and teens, but if I never tell give them the salvation message does it really matter?  The fact is that Lacea was not being mean in what she said about those boys; they really are living ungodly lives.  We can’t judge, but Lacea just spoke what she saw and unfortunately it was probably right unless they make some major changes in their lives.  I thank the Lord for a sad, but much needed reminder.

This is life or death.

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Wednesdays with Miriam and Andi

January 9th, 2011 — 10:01pm

Andi and I got a new challenge: teaching the teenager class on Wednesday nights. We both love the opportunity to serve there! At the same time we are very aware of how we depend on God and how we need his guidance and his spirit to get the class moving.

It’s his vision to see our girls become women who are confident in God and know how precious they are.
Since we just started to work in that class, it is also very important to us -and one of our current aims- to gain their trust and to build strong relationships with them.
Sometimes it’s not easy, and we can’t tell where the girls are because they’re having a hard time opening up. Especially when all the girls are together, it is hard for them to “out” themselves.

So a few weeks ago, when we went caroling, I was at the homes of two girls that come on Wednesdays. How much it meant to me that both came up to give me a hug!!

At another time, a girl came to me and just wanted to talk about things that hurt her. When she tried to start she just burst out into tears.

There are more stories like the two above. I’m so happy and excited that they are slowly starting to share about what’s going on inside and to trust us.

Please pray for God’s blessing upon this class!


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