If only I had a million dollars...
Those words actually came out of my mouth yesterday. I'm not even sure I've ever thought those words before!
Earlier, I had been chatting with a group of mamas, helping to wash chairs - a Saturday rainy season job - so that when people come to church on Sunday, they will have a clean place to sit.
A mom and her friend walked past us, then stood in front of the church. The somber mood immediately drew my attention to them. I noticed the bundled package of 2 month Abrahim was the focus.
I left my "chair washing task" and joined the ladies. Abrahim was sleeping. He'd been sleeping since noon the day before - which was the last time he had eaten. 30 hours!?!? He was limp as we raised his arms. Unresponsive.
I was already picturing a late night hospital visit ... or worse yet, another infant's death in our community (there were 2 that I know of only last month).
Together we entered the church. We must get this boy to breastfeed! As a group of mamas, we gathered, coaxed and prodded. After awhile, Abrahim awoke and ate a little. We cheered.
We sat together. Because sometimes in moments like these, that is what we do.... It's not all about words - it's about being... being together.
After I stepped outside, I was told - this mama herself has not eaten in 2 days. She and her 4 children (including Abrahim) have been in a desperate place for some time. The local church has been reaching out to them. They have been responding to that love!
But when there is no food, then mama doesn't have much breast-milk... depression sets in... and babies get sick... and the desperate cycle spirals down and down all too fast...
|Mama Abrahim in front of her home|
So... this is when I wished for a million dollars. Because this is not the only hungry family that we know! Actually, there are quite a few precious kids out of school too - they lack school fees! And a church that needs some repairs. A victim who needs rent money... The list is absolutely overwhelming to us - every day! We could probably blow through a million dollars pretty quickly! Maybe I should be wishing for 2 million!
I've continued to ponder these painful stories. And my response.
You see, as I left Mama Abrahim, I had not given her food. But I sat and prayed with her. I encouraged her that God loves her deeply. I actually wept on that visit. I long for her to find HOPE and GRACE even in her time of need.
(We did send the church some money to make sure the family would eat that night!)
But my brain is joggled.
Could money REALLY solve these problems? If we bring food and pay school fees yet don't bring HOPE in Jesus, what have we really done?
My heart aches as I pray. As I look into a mama's hungry eyes - who I know ache more for her children's hunger than her own... As the words come out of my mouth that Jesus knows and cares about her pain. That He loves her deeply. That He wants her to long for Him as much as she longs for food and safety.
I wonder... is that even possible?
Honestly? If my children were hungry would I be able to turn my heart and longings toward GOD? To find His peace and joy in the midst of my situation?
Our prayer is that as we walk with the local church that walks with this mama, we will see her find His PEACE and JOY and HOPE. She has been invited into our women's Bible Study group - which will also bring her the opportunity to learn beadwork and many other practical skills.
|Abrahim's big brother|
Today, my prayer for myself is this:
That I learn to DESPERATELY long for Him.
That I recognize Him as more important than anything else in my life.
That I see HIM as a more valuable gift to others than a million dollars would be!