I realize that when we all see videos (like the one on Compassion's website) its very easy to turn it off, close the "window", change the channel and just make it all "go away".
But for me - I just can't anymore. Something in Jamaica changed me...
I used to feel like - "I can't solve the problem, so I don't want to see it (it just breaks my heart anyway)." But I had to ask myself - where is the compassion of God in that statement?
On my first day to the primary school in Jamaica, I was getting the tour around the school and during this tour the kids took a break for "snack". Some children took a 1,000 "J" bill out of their pocket and headed to the tuk shop for some chips and a juice bag. Some took out a bundle of something from home. But so many more just wandered around the school yard... some "mooched" food off of the other kids - but more just wandered around.
I had one little boy come up to me to say hello who was just a little taller than my Colton... and as we chatted he told me that he had just had his birthday and he was 6 now (my Colton is 5). My Colton is quite the skinny little boy and reminded me of this little boy who was very skinny as well. As I told him that he was about the same age and size as my Colton at home - I reached down to affectionately give his arm a little squeeze and my heart dropped... all I felt was skin and bone (no muscle). And yes, this little boy had NO snack to eat.
As I fought to hold back the tears at the thought of "this could be my little boy if not for the grace of God that we are BLESSED to live in the US, we have jobs and we have food"... my mom hands me a piece of cake that one of the teachers was selling as a fundraiser for the school. (Are you kidding me???)
I looked at her (still fighting back the tears) and said "I CAN'T eat this!!" Do you see this little boy in front of me? (And have you seen the size of my arms compared to his?)
What am I supposed to do?
"Can I give it to him?" I asked her.
"Sure, whatever." she responds
I then took that cake (and the other one I got from her a little while later) and broke off pieces and gave it to every kid that didn't have a snack that day.
I also took my spending money for snacks (that I had brought) and spent it on those kids at the tuk shop for the next two days. (Yes, I am a bit of a sucker for all their begging - but who cares! I can spoil them if I want to - I'm a mom!)
Now I realize that I didn't "save the world" or stop global hunger that week... but I know I made a difference.
Because as I got back to my hotel that first night and bawled on my mom's shoulder, I prayed and asked God "What am I supposed to do now?"
Make a difference when and where you can... were the words I heard.
I can't always send money (but I will when I can), I can't always feed them (although I will when I can)... but I CAN take the time to pray for God to send others to send money, bring them food, bring good paying jobs to their parents and more.
Why am I sharing all this? Because I know we can each make a difference instead of "turning the channel"...
for those here - LWCC does SO much to help programs that help feed children and families in the cities we travel to for missions trips (and more)... just support the church and support people going on trips!
for those away - Did you know for just $13 you can feed a child for a MONTH!! Take what you would spend on coffee for a week, one or two lunches a week or whatever and send it to them... they have proven results.
for anyone - PRAYER does make a difference!! It isn't a "thing" that just makes us feel better - our prayers AVAIL MUCH!! When we believe that God can do it!!
Matthew 25:34-36 (The Message)
34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'
You can make a difference...