Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 11: Belief Creates ACTION

Day 11
Theme: Belief creates ACTION
Passage: John 6:25-59 (key vs. 29.) and Matt. 5: 13-16

Salt and Light
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Salt and light. We have heard that story in Sunday school and in churches for a long time. Salt gives taste but the main way of usage back in the days this was written was as a preservative. It KEPT things fresh. You are the FREASH MAKER!

How is your walk with Christ? Do others see you as the preservative?
What about the light? It expels doubt or darkness. It brings illumination to something.

Recently a Family Christian Stores District Manager, Mark Brandsma, went with World Vision to some of the places they serve. He was overcome by the people, the children, everything. On one of the days he spoke to a worker and asked “What can I take home to tell others about what you are doing here? What would you like for me to say?”

The response he received was very simple yet deeply profound, “Our children are just as smart as yours. They just need to be given the same chances.”

Up until this time, you may not have really thought about these kids. You might have connected to their suffering, their pain, possibly cried for their hurt. But have you put a face to them? They are the same age as your daughter and son; your niece and nephew; or grandchild. They like the same things your children do and to play the same games. They both have the same dreams; the only difference is their place of birth.

Recently a group was helping to finish a library at Casa Hogar Del Norte in Mexico with Back2Back ministries. Caroline Burns, one of their staff members shares the heart behind this:

Why a library? Martha, the director of the home, was in the states visiting a church in Texas last year and saw their children’s ministry area complete with a children’s library. You know what they usually look like – bean bags, colorful carpets, fun art on the walls, tons of books, a few computers, etc. She asked the Americans she was with if the kids liked this kind of library. Martha was a bit amazed at the idea that reading could be fun. You see, in Mexico, the average school aged child reads one book a year. In the states – the average is not much better but at least it’s at twelve books a year. The kids here very much so associate reading with punishment.

But Martha, a woman of VISION, got another vision for her children’s home and thus, the library addition began. We sat down with her and asked her on camera why she wanted a library for her children – she said something that I was not in the least expecting. She said, “So the children will know who is God.”

Her reason for everything she does for the children was so that the kids would look around at the orphanage they live in and think, “This place is different. Why is this place so different?” And the answer would involve the reality of how much God passionately loves them and is caring for them. Pretty much NO ONE, no orphanage, no local civic center, nowhere has a children’s library and if they do – it won’t begin to compare to what Martha is building. And the reason is so that the kids might know who God is.

Listening to her testimony of the children on the streets that Martha would see everyday many years ago and how she made a decision to care for them which ultimately led to the children’s home Back2Back serves today, it was all I could do to not just cry. Martha is incredibly humble. I’ve never met anyone like her. But what really gave me the chills that day was that she is BELIEVING on faith that the new directors of that home, whoever they will be, and she needs new leadership because she is really old, WILL BE ABLE TO BETTER CARE FOR THE KIDS THAN SHE CAN. After hearing WHY she was building a library, I was shocked. But hearing that Martha honestly believes that God will provide new leadership to follow in her footsteps that will do far greater things than she has been able to – will forever be imprinted on my mind. If you’ve ever met Martha, maybe you can understand a bit of my surprise at hearing this. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone as AWESOME, strong, determined, full of faith, dedicated, gentle, sweet natured, kind, generous and passionate as Martha. 1

These groups that you are partnering with all have stories of helping these children find their true strength to be who God made them to be. The following are 2 such children who were given hope in a hopeless situation.

Rukmini, by Back2Back India Staff
May 17, 2010

Back2Back partners with a feeding center in a Hyderabad slum that provides evening meal and education for poor children in the area. This is the story of Rukmini, an eleven year old girl who our staff recently met at the Feeding Center. Rukmini’s father works as a laborer on a brick transporting vehicle and her mother works as a daily laborer on construction sites. Her elder brother, now age fourteen, dropped out of the fifth grade and starting working under a mason, learning construction work to become a mason in future.

Rukmini is a sweet, intelligent and disciplined girl, who is very interested in studies. Last year, while she was studying in the sixth grade, her parents made her discontinue her schooling to look after her younger sister Vennela, who is four years old, and her grandmother, who is blind and bed-ridden. Even though she was not interested in staying at home and missing school, her parents made her stay at home and look after them against her wishes. The feeding center has become an oasis for her regular evening study.

Rukmini comes to this center along with her sister. She actively participates in the study and attracts the attention of all the volunteers, the directors and visitors with her pleasing manners, good behavior and sharpness in her studies. Although she discontinued classes, she continues to read her old books and would like to move forward with the intention that she would get an opportunity to go back to school again and continue her studies.

Rukmini became a victim of her circumstances and helplessness of her poor and uneducated parents. There are many such instances among the families in the slums. The Feeding Center is an oasis for many poor children. Please pray with us for Rukmini and the other children in this slum area and for the directors of this feeding center. We are privileged to come along side them as they provide nutrition and education to these needy children. 2

Meet Milagros, by Hope Maglich, Back2Back Mexico Staff
April 30, 2010

Through the generous support of a family in the US, Milagros is able to go to school. Milagros is a compassionate, intelligent, and confident teenager who lives in the Rio community, an impoverished community that Back2Back serves.

Her name means “Miracle” and often she is nothing shy of that! She was born deaf and grew up communicating with her self-made sign language. One of the things I love most about Milagros is her fearless ability to try. She will attempt over and over to communicate with me despite my sometimes baffled looks. Milagros is very determined. She knows what she wants and what she is capable of and sets out to do it. I like that in a person who would have an easy excuse to do nothing at all.

About a year or so ago a family came down on a Back2Back mission trip, met Milagros, and had a heart to help her. With their support, she was able to attend a school for the deaf where she learned sign language and some trade crafts. Not satisfied with just this education, Milagros approached us a few months ago with a flyer from a cosmetology school over in the next neighborhood. We met with the director of the school, who was eager to take on Milagros with her challenges. Milagros has now been enrolled in cosmetology school for several months. Just a few days ago, I had the privilege to go with a co-worker to Milagros’ school to see her in action. There, Back2Back staff member, Cathy Huffer, got a trim and Milagros gave her mom some new layers in her hair. It is nothing less than a miracle to see someone like Milagros, born with limitations and into an impoverished community, grow, thrive, and pursue what some would say is impossible. 3

So do you believe God has brought you here? Do you believe that God is turning your heart towards His heart for the orphan?

When we believe that we are the SALT and the LIGHT we will WANT to live a call of Missions. We will want to tell everyone about the hope we have in him. The life changing hope that loves enough to bring books to children in Mexico, to bring training to a deaf child, or to help a intelligent child study for her future in India.

Let’s close today with a video of Clayton who took being the Salt and Life of this earth to the full extent.


What are you doing to be the Salt and Light?

Are you so in LOVE with God that you want to share this love with everyone?

No comments: