Friday, July 22, 2011

For The Least Of These

"'I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" Matthew 25:35-40, NKJV

Just days ago I returned home from Guatemala, where I had the privilege to be a part of a thirteen-member team from Valley Family Church that went down to work with Pray America. ( Its founder is a wonderful man by the name of Ron Morin. He is one of those unassuming guys, doing a massive work in that part of the world. They are located in an area called Chichicastenango or what we affectionately call, “Chichi.”

While there we built four homes for widows and their families, worked in Pray America’s feeding programs, distributed ovens, water filters, and gave away shoes to a bunch of kids in a school. The poverty and lack is staggering, yet the people were so joyful. Particularly joyful were the widows who were given a new home and a basket full of food and toys for their kids.

We were all touched in a deep way at the feeding programs. It wasn't just seeing the hungry kids; it was seeing them eat a little food off their plates and then happily stuffing ninety percent of it into a plastic bag to take home to their families. It was truly amazing to see a three or four-year-old more concerned about their family’s needs than their own. Like I said, it was very moving, knowing that this was quite possibly their largest meal for a week.

It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12-13 (NKJV),

“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Paul had learned to rely on his faith in Jesus Christ when he had little and when he had much. The joy of his faith wasn't dependent upon the things that he had or what he didn't have, his faith was in Who he had in his heart – Jesus Christ! In the midst of all of that lack, my heart is full because of my faith in the One who made this world, the One who loves us, cares for us, is there for us and the One who asks us to do what we can for those who don't have much.

As I left that place, I'll forever be more grateful and thankful for what I DO have than what I don’t have. Now don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad by what God has blessed my life with, but I feel challenged to do an even better job of sharing what I have with others.

Thanks for letting me share our experience with you.

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