“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.” 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)
"Wealth is something I didn't think I had." Wow, this was the beginning of a devotion I received this week from Lee Ann Rice at Proverbs 31 Ministries. It really got me thinking.
Before we moved to the Dominican Republic, my beloved minivan was 10 years old and my husband's car was 20. I didn’t have money for extras like kitchen remodels (or sometimes even for basic upkeep for that matter!) or trips that required flights and hotels.
Lee Ann Rice goes on to say " It's not the size of the gift that matters. It’s the amount of hope wrapped around the gift that makes all the difference." Amen sister!
It was standing in the middle of a barrio in La Vega, Dominican Republic that I discovered true wealth.
Last spring Joy, Delia, Greici and I spent a morning walking the streets of Maria Auxiliadora looking for girls to fill the classrooms of New Hope. My job was to photograph the girls, their families and homes. Take pictures:check. Easy for me, it's my passion. But about halfway through the day right after we visited this particular home, a home whose walls were made from flattened food cans, God stopped me in my tracks.
I was overcome by the hopelessness. I was overcome by the road marked ahead of us. I was overcome with tears. Just standing there listening to the sounds, pinching myself thinking "Is this really happening? God, how can we possibly help all of these girls. I mean, they are just coming out of the woodwork."
We cannot help them, but He can and He is. It is not for us to sit back and let God handle but to quote Eric Ludy, president of Ellerslie Mission Society and the bestselling author in his video Depraved Indifference:
"Remember you call yourselves my body. I am not except through you. Your hands? Those are my hands. Your feet? Those are my feet. That heart, it's my heart. If it's not beating, my heart is not beating on this earth anymore. I work through my body. I am a father to the fatherless through my body. I rescue the weak and the vulnerable through YOU!"
Friends, before long we will put up our Christmas tree, begin holiday baking, and search for that perfect gift. We will listen to Christmas songs everywhere we go and begin to plan for wonderful family get togethers. And, in the midst of the madness I pray you heart will turn to the reason for the season.
What better way to celebrate Jesus than to wrap our hope around the lives of those with needs greater than ours?
You can give hope to New Hope Girls through a monthly sponosrship which helps provide school supplies, teachers, spiritual nurture, nutritional food and clothing to our girls. You will have an opportunity to really get to know your sponsored child through letters, videos and email updates. It is truly a situation where your donations really counts.
As we reach out to those around us as the body of Christ, we provide something much more valuable than any earthly treasure. We share the gift of hope!