Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Walking the planks....

     I really don't know how to start this post, except by saying how the Lord has greatly blessed me. I am so undeserving for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me. I was reminded today of the bare necessities in life and how we have so much more.
      This morning I went with some friends to scout out a potential ministry opportunity that will be working with malnourished children. We went to an area called “Isle Verde” or “The Green Island”. A oxymoron as there is little green. It was again an eye opening experience. A population of approximately 15,000 live in this small area. There is also a group among the people there called the Badjao people, the sea gypsies. They live among huts built on stilts. The bridges that connect these houses are thin planks that span across the "ocean" below. There is no sewer system. No garbage disposal. Nothing, but the ocean below. This society lives with barely their daily needs met.
    That is where the opportunity we found comes in. There is a Pastor and his wife that live in the area who have opened their home to provide clinics to the people. They also have a program to help feed the hungry children. They provide food for the mothers to cook for their children to eat. One meal four days a week. I would have the opportunity in my free time to help these children by keeping them company, cleaning their nails, and potentially sharing Bible stories with them.
     I don't know how to explain fully how it made me feel. I cannot seem to find the right word... I felt- not just for their lack, but for my own selfish heart. How dare I take my life, my upbringing for granted! There was never a night I was hungry. Never a day I went unclothed. I felt burdened not just for their need, but for the need of all those who are blind to the way others live, not necessarily by choice, but because it is what they were born into.
    The pastor's wife told us with tears in her eyes about the burden she and her husband share for this place. She told how blessed she was because she had a roof, food, more than one pair of shoes. That she had a computer and internet. She had a phone, and touch screen at that. But these people she serves don't even have daily bread. One look at their small house that doubles as a medical clinic, food distribution, and pharmacy and one would think that they were in need. Yet, they live in a mansion compared to the Badjao who live literally right down the street.
    The people are so loving and open to us. The children mill around with wide eyes giggling at the puti  (white) girls who came to see them. Greetings were shouted as we passed through the village. So much physical and spiritual need, yet they are still smiling. In some ways they taught me so much. They taught me to appreciate what I have been blessed with. My brief time with them showed me how they are rich in their "poverty" and wealthy in their love.
   I pray that I will never forget and take my life for granted. I had thought that I was exposed to need here, but this experience showed me a whole new level. A whole new perspective of the need and the necessity of reaching out to these people, even if it is “just” spending time with these children, or providing maternity care.
    Lord, forgive us for all that we take for granted on a daily basis. Help open our eyes to the need of others. Burden our hearts Lord! Let us SEE! Help us as we walk the planks of life, precariously balanced and trusting you as we take the next step.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great post, Sarah! Wow...just reading that was eye opening...I can't imagine actually being there and seeing it with my own eyes! You write beautifully and I can just see Isle Verse by your description.
    So thankful for your heart and that you are there to help and let your light shine in this dark place.
    We are totally selfish to EVER complain about one thing we do not have, or even the things we DO have! Thatnk u for challenging and convicting my heart today in Soooo many things!
    Praying for you and the great mission there!
    Love,
    Nicole Pelkey

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