Every mission trip I take has a favorite moment, but the most unforgettable moment for me happened decades ago. You know it has to be impactful to still recall the sights in your mind after so many years.
I was in the Philippines on my very first missions trip with my husband who was in Bible college at the time. We left our 17 month old baby in the States with his grandparents and I was 10 weeks pregnant. This trip was about children’s ministry during feeding programs and medical missions (end of back story)
While on these ’feeding’ outreaches, the team usually sang songs, played with the children and gave a children’s Bible lesson. One particular day, however, I will never forget. The children that qualified to be part of the feeding program met certain criteria. For example, underweight by a certain percentage. They were re-evaluated periodically, and at times removed from the program so a more needy child could fill the space.
As we observed one day, I saw a boy no older than 4-5 years old, standing patiently hand feeding a smaller child about 2 years old his daily ration of food. This older child never once put the spoon to his own mouth, but kept prodding the younger boy to continue eating until his bowl was clean. I was in awe that a child so young could act so unselfishly when I knew he had to be hungry too! The love for a brother was greater than his own desires or needs.
As I write, it still brings tears to my eyes. How I pray that I can be that SELFLESS, putting the needs of others before my own. It is countercultural! I am all about balance, and I know that we must take care of ourselves to be able to give health. What I found out about this situation was that the older boy had been a part of the feeding program in the past, and once he had reached a healthy weight, he was replaced with the younger brother. He now was serving where he once had been served.
“Freely you have received, so freely give”.(Matthew 10:8)...rings in my ears. I pray each of us become better givers of what we have so freely received. I challenge you today to be aware of the things you freely receive like patience , love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, understanding, and the list goes on and on.
I love you Sisters—we can do this!!