The “deals” I enjoy most are the TV pitches where the add ons keep getting better and better. If you actually get to the point of determining you can’t live without a cleaning device for between your car seats, the announcer chimes in with the legendary, “But wait!” As it turns out, if you buy now, they’ll give you a second item FREE. And as you reach for the phone…“there’s STILL more!” Oh my.
This week on my talk show, we will have two days devoted to asking for donations to help families in Guatemala and Haiti. The specific request is for $50 as a one-time gift to provide a child with food for a year and clean water for a lifetime. I know, it sounds too good to be true. The ministry is Food for the Poor. (FFTP)
Having traveled with a team of folks from FFTP to Guatemala a few months back, I was able to see the programs they have implemented. I observed a number of women who have devoted their lives to restoring the health of malnourished children. I witnessed school programs where lunch is provided and smiling grade schoolers run around with energy and hope.
The hardest part of the visit was being on site where multiple families live just a few miles from Guatemala City. Getting to their remote location was a challenge in itself. Hearing (through interpreters) how these families manage to survive will soften any hardened heart.
The water problem was too much to take in. That’s because there IS NO running water. Fifty gallon drums of non potable water are filled once a week IF a truck from the city can make it to these remote locations. This water must then be boiled to use for cooking and drinking. The food crisis is equally as challenging. And so along comes Food for the Poor.
Standing in the midst of these families who live in non-climate controlled shacks with corrugated metal roofs, it’s easy to say, “I can make a difference for these people.” We live in a place on this planet where we let clean water run just to get it warm. We water lawns. We often waste clean water in ways we don’t even consider. Thus, the idea of clean water for a child for a lifetime for $50 seems like an offer too good to be true. Oh…let’s not forget this also feeds the child for a year.
The men and women in these countries who aid these very poor do not live in comfort themselves. Their daily work is only to serve. As the director of a nutritional clinic told me through her tears, “Each face I see reminds me of Jesus.”
It makes sense. Jesus said it this way: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40/ The Message)
This week my assignment is to to help raise support for 200 children. It’s not a big “ask.” Feed a child for a year. Provide that child clean water for a lifetime. Just a $50 one-time gift.
But wait! There’s more! Also included is a change from hopelessness to hope. From fear to encouragement. From sickness to health. If you’re interested in helping the cause, visit 1160hope.com. You’ll find a banner to click on that says “Give Life.” Pretty simple, huh?
The face of Jesus is waiting.
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Catch “Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand" weekday afternoons from 4-6pm on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life. To listen to the live broadcast or a podcast of previous shows click here.