It was during our initial trip to Lesotho in 2007 that God broke my heart and I’ve never been the same. Our last stop on our last day was a visit to a school. We brought shoes and clothing for 10 children but, when we arrived, there were 100’s of children that surrounded us waiting, watching and hoping that they would receive something. Violet brought her preschool. We had nothing to give these little ones. Two from our team scrounged through the van and emerged with small bars of soap and a box of crackers. One by one the four year olds held out their hands to receive a bar of soap and one cracker.
I was interacting with some of the older children and was unaware of what was happening with the preschoolers. I went over to this little boy and held out my hand for him to “give me 5.” What happened next is forever etched in my memory. He looked down at one clenched fist, then to the other and back again to the first hand, opened it up and handed me his bar of soap. Then I realized he thought that I was asking him to give me what he had received. The look of pain on his face broke my heart. I quickly reassured him that they were his to keep and closed his tiny fingers around the bar of soap. A cracker and a bar of soap, two things incidental and insignificant to me, were precious to him.
When I returned home I could not erase his face from my mind. People asked me, “How was your trip? Was it life changing?” At first I couldn’t put my feelings into words. It was heart breaking. “Was it life changing?” Now I can say, “Yes.” Nothing outside of my relationship with Jesus has touched my life like the people of Africa.
My love for the children of South Africa and Lesotho has grown. So has my eagerness to speak on their behalf and to do what I can to provide hope in desperate circumstances. My belief is that only God can provide true hope in that hopelessness. But, as we seek to bring Jesus to them, we also need to share the love of God in tangible ways by helping to meet their physical needs.
I’ve never seen that little boy again. But, I’m grateful that God had my life cross his for a brief moment and for how He has changed my heart and my life through the brief encounter. My hope that you will follow us at: www.AnchorYourLife.com or through Facebook. This is an exciting adventure and I’m so glad that I can share it with you!
Help us help African children through Anchor Your Life.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV) James 1:27
Nearly 60% of the people in Lesotho live at poverty level…many families live on less than $1 a day.
“Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult.” -Samuel Johnson
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. (NIV) Deuteronomy 15:11
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Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and his desire overcomes 2 obstacles, the crowd and his own height. He runs ahead of the crowd. Can you imagine the site? Here’s a little rich guy running ahead of the crowds. When he reaches the 30-40′ high tree, he climbs the short trunk and perches on 1 of the spreading branches. Evidently he did not worry about looking ridiculous!
Zacchaeus thought that he was seeking Jesus, when in fact Jesus was seeking him. Jesus reaches the spot. He looks up and in the midst of many, Jesus sees one man. He calls Zacchaeus by name. Jesus knew his name and his character. Jesus did not see who he was from the outside. . .God does not look at the things man looks at. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). So what did Jesus see when He saw Zacchaeus?
** Jesus saw a man being held captive by his own sin
** He saw one who had been beaten down by the world. . .one who had been deceived by the promises of life
** Jesus saw a man who was dieing inside
As we go through life we often feel insignificant. But, one life does matter. Zacchaeus is one seemingly insignificant man who was noticed by God.
In the midst of this crowd Jesus sees you. He knows all about you…
** How you spent the day yesterday
** Your disappointments and the pain you’ve experienced, as well as your successes
** Your frustrations
** Your fears
** The decisions you are facing
** Your worries
He knows when
** You feel like giving up
** You are down
** You are happy
** He knows the answers to your questions
In the midst of many, Jesus sees one…YOU. And cares for YOU!
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
-1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36)
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ (Matthew 25:41-43)
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:44-46)
Who do you see around you?