Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Children with Compassion: Growing in Grace ~ Giving it Back







We've been thinking about the poverty in Guatemala for a month and here I am at a barbecue out in a meadow. All afternoon the sun dances with the leaves in the trees towering around us.

I'm sitting on a campfire chair eating watermelon and spitting out seeds. I toss the rind aside when I feel that I've had enough. Someone comes around and gathers up the garbage while I am talking with a woman who spent 4 years in the Sudan with her husband and six boys as missionaries. She is still eating her piece of watermelon; practically gnawing on it. There is not a hint of pink left.

Someone else points out the rind with pink still on it; conspicuously piled on top of the plate heading for the garbage. Now, all the ladies turn their heads in my direction. Scolding me with their mere glances. Yes, I admit, it was my piece.

I confess that I have never stared at poverty in the face and I take this abundance of food for granted. I shake my own head and hang it down. This woman who has spent years in the Sudan tells me of how hungry they are there. The children will pick up a mango pit from the ground that has already been chewed to see if they can suck anymore from it. She calls herself 'juicy' now that she is back in Canada and there is this overflow of food.

Days later, I am scraping our plates after dinner. I'm throwing away heads of asparagus just because of the sand that didn't come out when I washed it and it was gritty between our teeth. My hand stops scraping and I'm disgusted with myself and wonder how I can just toss it away so flippantly when there are children starving.

But, I have never seen it. My heart is so cold to the reality of how children suffer with stomachs protruding because of malnutrition. My heart does ache for them, but what will it take for me to get to the point of feeling like I've been hit in the gut with compassion.

I don't know why we have so much here that we fill up our garbage cans because we feel full and there they pick scraps out of the garbage to fill their bellies that feel hunger gnawing.

But, I do know, whether we have seen it or not we can't keep living like it doesn't exist.

Poverty does exist. There are mothers who desperately want to give their children healthy food to eat, a warm, safe place to sleep, and clean water to drink.

And there are mothers working to end poverty. Children, too, who want to make a difference in other people's lives.

***

Weeks earlier, I read this post by Kristen and watched the video she linked with my children hovering over my shoulder. We were moved and inspired and we started to dream together.

We know we can't change the world, but we can do a little to make a difference. We started to plan a benefit concert for home educated children to present their various gifts and abilities to raise money to rebuild a home for a family in Guatemala.

***

For six weeks we plan. We ask another family to come along side us with the planning, we hand out invitations to friends, family, and neighbours to come to this "Children with Compassion: Growing in Grace ~ Giving it Back" concert, they practice, and pray.

The children pray with child-like faith that enough will be raised for Compassion Canada to rebuild at least one home for one family suffering in poverty in Guatemala.

The day before the concert I feed my children porridge for supper and for 22 hours I don't eat and my stomach knows a wee little bit of what it is like to go without food. I think of those mothers who often go without so their babies will have something to eat; mothers who are living in unsanitary conditions and can't do anything about it. When I feel the pangs of hunger, I pray that God will hear our prayers to help.

And God pours out His blessing and He answers the children's prayers beyond what they even asked or imagined!

Because, yes, that is what He is like. That is how He works; how He answers prayer. People are moved with compassion and give more than enough for one home to be rebuilt, but also a quarter of the way to have another home rebuilt, too!

We have been given so much and how can we not dig deep and give back out of the abundance and the riches of His grace.

When children want to help other children in need we will stand back and see God work and be amazed at His grace.

And the next time I eat watermelon I will be sure I don't leave a wink of pink on the rind and pray that God will continue to make my heart bleed for the least of these.

***



{Shown here is a video we showed at the concert to share what life is like for some people living in poverty in Guatemala. (For email subscribers, click here to view video.)
Compassion Canada is helping families in Guatemala that have lost homes due to hurricanes and major storms in recent years. They are reaching out to help children in the name of Jesus. For further information or to sponsor a child you can go here if you live in Canada or here if you live elsewhere.}


3 comments:

  1. This is amazing - how this seed can grow and bloom and then plant itself in more hearts. So inspired.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never stared poverty in the face either. Our plenty can blind us in so many ways. :-( Praying for eyes to see differently and to spread the wealth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love what happens when many come together on a cause. Synergy, for sure.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ReplyDelete

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