clinging to the hope of a Savior
by Kayla Raymond
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:17-18
Sometimes I wish and wonder for this all to be a dream. That the day will come when I will wake up and all the suffering and poverty will be no more.
People will live in sound houses, with yards to play in and sidewalks to ride their bikes on. All children will go to school and have opportunities to prosper, challenge themselves and succeed. There will be playgrounds, organized sports, noontime lunches that serve more than rice and beans.
Their homes will no longer be tilted and falling, they will be concrete and secure. They won’t be made of mud and straw or tarp and dented tin. The rain won’t leak through their roofs and everyone will sleep sound through the night. They will feel safe. Mom and dad will have careers, which will not only provide stable incomes but also give them a shot at some real dignity in life. Moms won’t abandon their children at orphanage gates and dads will stick around to watch their kids to grow.
The electricity will always be on and safe water will run through the faucets in their homes. Children will no longer have to exhaust their energy carrying water to their homes. There will be comfortable beds to sleep in and shoes for their feet in the morning when they rise.
Bellies will be full, the signs of malnourishment will fade and treatable diseases won’t take their lives any more.
You won’t see people begging in the market on Christmas day or see the little girl leading her blind father through heavy traffic begging at each driver’s window. You won’t see the mother on the side of the street with an infant in one hand and the other hand outstretched taking whatever is handed to her. Little boys will go to school instead of begging on the streets.
You won’t hear stories of hunger, abandonment, homelessness, oppression, and loss no more.
Unfortunately, God said the poor will always be. Always.
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” -Deuteronomy 15:11
And, He made it our job to set them free. Whatever that may look like, He give the task to you and me.
On Christmas day, I really struggled as I walked through the local market. I was out shopping with the husband looking for new shoes for the boys. Those darn kids go through shoes like you wouldn’t believe and we have a wedding today, so new shoes were a must. As I zigzagged through the market, I came upon an older man dressed in only a shirt, sitting in the dirt path begging with a small dish. On any other day, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much, but it was Christmas day and Christmas isn’t supposed to look like this.
The world shouldn’t look like this.
I thought of so many loved ones cuddled up at home, in cozy homes around Christmas trees with presents stuffed underneath. I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed after market, and saw all of you celebrating, seeing how Christmas should be.
And I remembered the One who we were celebrating, that little baby born in a manger. Born in the most humble of ways. Born of a virgin. Born in a barn, the world anxious to meet its Savior.
And because of this Savior, I will keep on dreaming. I will keep wishing and wondering for a day when all the suffering and poverty will be no more. For one day I will arrive at the golden gates and I will see all these dreams come true. For it was because of the Savior we were saved; because of Him we will one day enter through heaven’s gates. It is there where poverty and suffering will be no more and for this fact and this fact alone I cling to the hope I have in Christ and keep on with good faith.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:3-9
But, for now, as we live out our lives here on earth, we are commanded to help the poor here in this dark and broken world.
A few days ago, friends Jennifer and Lydia Lee along with myself launched our #lastblueChristmas fundraiser. We are hoping to raise $15,000 to build five new homes for five families who have been living in tattered blue tents for five years. We are motivated by the five-year anniversary of the earthquake that took hundreds of thousands of lives and left thousands more homeless. We recognize it is such a small act as a large percentage of Haitians live in structures made of tent, tarp and scraps with dirt floors. But, we are hopeful this fundraiser will be the beginning to something beautiful and new.
We are given the promise that whatever we do for the least of these brother and sisters, we are also doing for our King and Savior. And what an honor it is to serve him. To bring a glimpse of His kingdom to earth. To shine light where it has been without for so long.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” – Matthew 25:40
Friends, beautiful and gracious donations have been made in the past couple days but we are still far from reaching our goal. Consider today to join this campaign for a #lastblueChristmas
WAYS TO DONATE:
1.) Directly to Touch of Hope, by sending a check to:
Touch of Hope
205 Old Mill Lane
Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246
2.) Through PayPal by clicking here.
– leave a note on your check/PayPal donation that your donation is for “5 homes in 2015″ –
(Touch of Hope is registered 501(3)c non-profit and all donations are tax deductible.)
3.) Through PureCharity, by clicking here.
“For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall.” – Isaiah 25:4