How much I give, and where I start is the hardest part of living in Uganda. It’s something I struggle with- am I giving enough? Am I giving to who I should be giving to? Am I caring for those who really need it?
I took a little boy to the clinic the other day.
While we were walking inside, an old man with a broken wrist yelled after me “help me also!”. Because I hear this so often I shook my head and we went into the clinic. As we sat waiting I was surrounded by people who were able to get treatment, but like the little boy we had brought and the man asking for help there were people dying because they couldn’t afford treatment. The walls of the clinics and hospitals only held the wealthiest of those living in poverty, and honestly, those wealthiest were still struggling day to day to survive. But if Susan and I hadn’t taken the time to bring this particular little boy in, he easily would have died. Cerebral malaria. What if we had ignored him? What if we have ignored a big issue and we have no idea? It’s a cold reality to face.
While taking applications we ask each child if they have any health concerns, usually they say “malaria.” Susan took an application the other day for a 15 year old boy and it made it’s way to my hands. What I read broke my heart. “I have a lot of stomach aches due to hunger.” I know all of those children suffer from being hungry, but to see it written on paper made it more real to me. Never once have I had hunger pains, not in the same sense these children do. They have one meal a day. One meal. American’s believe they are entitled to 3 meals a day with snacks in between. I choose what meals I want to eat, even here in Uganda, but they eat whatever is available. No 15 year old boy should have severe pains due to hunger while we Americans get obese. It’s not fair. But it happens, day after day after day.
Where do I begin and where do I stop?
I wish I could bring healing to every body and restoration to every soul.
But I know I can’t.
But Jesus said if you saw anyone in need you were to give openly to them.
“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.’
37 “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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
But how do I manage that when every. single. day. I meet the hungry faces over and over and over again?
Why are there so many?
Why are there so little Christians doing something about it?
Jesus poured Himself out upon this earth so we would breathe in His goodness.
I breathe in all that He is.
All that He wants me to be.
I do it for Him.
So I begin with a boy with a toothache. I deliver mattresses to a family. I take sponsorship applications for 200 children. I take a boy who says he is ready to die to the clinic.
Where He begins, that’s where I start.
Where He is, I don’t need to stop, because I am always going to find another hungry stomach or starving soul.
I just need to breathe Him in.