She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. Proverbs 31:20 NLT
The most talked about woman in the Old Testament I think, is the Proverbs 31 woman. There are groups named after her, websites bearing her name, and women all over long to be characterized as that “proverbs woman”.
I’ve found a common thread in what makes her the way she is. I purposefully used present tense in that statement, because the “proverbs woman” exists today.
The common thread is that she is constantly looking outside herself at the needs of others. She works hard because of the needs of her family and she speaks wise because of the needs of those around her.
“…extends a helping hand to the poor…”
I’ve seen poor in America…we have a “system” called welfare that we depend on to do the job…and look how it has affected our people.
Lazy. Waiting for someone else to do the job. “Feed me, cloth me, shelter me”—the system cries.
Rarely do we look the needs in the eye….but on Tuesday, I saw the needs in the eyes of many. It was not only the need to be fed, clothed, or even educated, but the greater need was the need to be loved. And when we truly “love” beyond ourselves, the other needs are met. Why? Because we love.
Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard. Proverbs 21:13 NKJV
Open ears, open hearts, and open eyes will share and show love. This is the thing I have discovered since last night. I didn’t see one out begging yesterday. They are all working for what they ate. They ate very little—but they worked to provide.
To see the needs of others, we must be looking. We can choose to sit in our easy chair—or be seeking ways to help another. (Don’t think for a second I’m saying you can’t sit in your chair and relax—for Jesus set the example of resting—BUT—He went about daily meeting the needs of others.) The choice is ours—close off our hearts—or open them wide. When we open our hearts to love as Jesus loved—there is no stopping the power of God in our lives as we walk in His ways and speak His Truth.
Before you look at these pictures and tell me what you think—let me remind you that you cannot smell this picture, nor can you hear the sounds. Those two vital parts of our senses bring the picture to life. Take my word for it…
We left early yesterday morning, set out on a mission to minister. To play with children, teach them songs, and share the love of Jesus. We passed out treats, school supplies, blankets and toys. You may question why a blanket in this heat. They are so accustomed to this weather that when it turns cooler, they are truly cold.
We traveled the muddy waters (which is way more than mud) for about 30 minutes to the Mechrey Floating School which is the village school operated and supported by Mission of Mercy.
Ride with me while I take you back down the river….
Grab a seat, keep your hands inside the boat—don’t trail them in the water—
We were in two boats, with the supplies packed on top—now for the full effect of your ride, stand near a car exhaust that is a “smoker with an oil problem”. Stand REAL close. Like maybe put your face in a position to be bathed in the smoke….oh, almost forgot, make sure the muffler has a hole in it—and turn up the volume.
Okay. I think you might get the picture. –Wait, one more thing, turn up the heat. Enough to make your sweat pool and run…everywhere.
If the love of Christ is overruling the flesh…your face will be wreathed in smiles like Jamie’s was as the anticipation built for the children she had come half way around the world to meet.
We were a group of 36 American women, a sight to behold on the rough clay banks of the river that morning. We had several pair of eyes staring at the spectacle of us climbing into the boats, settling and resettling ourselves into the seats. Many came for a closer look at these “strange birds” here in their land.
We gave candy to the children who came to inspect these women on a mission. We all know children love candy—especially some that they’ve never seen before. The bright colored wrappers of the lollipops made them hold out their hands in anticipation of what was inside.
Finally turned around in the right direction, we’re off!
I won’t post all the pictures here (the visit to the school alone resulted in 678 pictures)—nor will I tell all here today—I’m still wrapping my mind around what I saw. But a few pictures I want to share that I think will tell the story without very many words.
A special thank you to those who prayed yesterday…God is as awesome –ON TIME—God—EVERY TIME. Nothing escapes HIS vision. Nothing is beyond His knowledge. Before we set out yesterday—the day was in His calendar. The choice is ours to see with His eyes, or refuse to see—and harden our hearts to the plight of so many. When we see with His eyes—we see with love. And that love of Christ sets out to make a difference in the world….one child at a time.
How can you make a difference? Open your eyes and see the needs around you. Seek God about sponsoring a child. I am showing you the needs here—but there are needs all over the world. Even out your own back door. But you have to look.
Visit Mission of Mercy and see all the ways you could help make a difference. You can’t take on the world…but you can help one child. Maybe more. We waste far more than $34 a month on trivial things…what if that same $34 went to educate, feed and administer medical and dental care to a child who without you, would not learn, or be taken care of. I’m not sure what the average life span in the village is, but it can’t be very old. (Not when they drink the same water that their waste has emptied into.) Mission of Mercy works to meet the critical needs of the children. They also work hand in hand with Convoy of Hope in times of crisis.
My question to us all today: What are we going to do with what we have? Candy stated it very well on Sunday, “They do so much with so little, yet we do so little with so much”.
© Angie Knight—The Knightly News 2012.