Monday, January 7, 2008
feeding Jesus & orphans (+ the junky car club?)
PETER NYAGA BAITHUMBI
This is Peter, our “adopted” orphan from Kenya. He’s the man! Well, he’s only 5, but he is pretty cool for a 5 year old.
We don’t know how his parents died, but he lives with his brother in a house with a dirt floor, mud walls, and a grass roof. His favorite game is soccer just like me.
Crystal and I send $40 a month to Compassion International and in our opinion the return is pretty high. For $32 a month Peter gets = food, clean water, strong education, and healthcare. + the church in his village gets to give all of this to him and when he asks why he all of the sudden gets this great stuff for free, they can tell him “there’s some people who love Jesus and Jesus says to love people, especially the ‘least of these’, so they want to love you and make sure you’re cared for in Jesus’ name.” And of course Peter is going to say “so, tell me about this Jesus guy.” Pretty cool, huh?
So, for those of you who may not be clear on what believers are supposed to do for the poor - God says a ton about it in Scripture! If you want to give me your email and I can send you my 7 page single-spaced study of just Scripture passages that are clear commands for believers to take care of the poor and orphans in the world. Because of space I'll just share just 1 passage here.
Mathew 25:31-46 => Jesus is telling everyone listening that when He returns in glory He is going to separate the "sheep" and the "goats". Maybe you've always wondered how this will go down... well, here you go. Jesus will tell the sheep to enter into his kingdom because HE was hungry, thirsty, needed clothes, homeless, and sick & they took care of Him. And they'll be like "when did we see YOU, Jesus & help you?" "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."(v.40) WOW! Whenever we help feed, clothe, and give water to the poor, orphaned, and homeless it's like we're giving it directly to Jesus!
But what about the goats? Jesus will say "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Why would He condemn them like this? You might have a theological answer in your head, but Jesus says He condemns them to this because they didn't feed, give water to, clothe, & take care of the poor and homeless! He says whenever you see a poor person who needs something and you ignore it, it's basically like you are seeing Jesus on the side of the road with no food and you just ignore JESUS! (v.45) Can you imagine seeing Jesus hungry and thirsty and saying to Him - "I'm sorry Jesus, but I really need to pay my internet bill this month so I can read Patrick's blog, or else I would feed you." This is a passage we should all reflect on.
In light of the Bible being filled with passages like these Crystal and I feel like partnering with the Junky Car Club (see previous post) and sponsoring Peter is only a starting point. Peter also lives in an HIV/Aids affected area where the disease is probably something of an epidemic. We are not sure if his parents died from AIDS or if Peter might even have it… but for the extra $8 a month, Compassion is able to provide additional AIDS prevention and education along with extra medicines.
Peter started kindergarten this year. He gets to go to school for a portion of that $32 per month! That’s so awesome. He is beginning to learn how to read and he writes letters to Crystal and me. His favorite subject in school is counting. He proved that when he filled out a profile that he sent to us and the question was “what is your name” and he wrote “12345”. Maybe he’ll figure it out by the 1st grade? ☺
We’re stoked about getting to sponsor Peter and hope to go visit him one day. There’s no feeling in the world like knowing that we get to share the love of Jesus with this little boy in a tangible way. Really, Jesus says it's like we're sharing this directly with HIM. Way cool. $32 a month is basically a dollar a day. That’s not much. So, maybe you can skip Starbucks a few times a month or eat at Chic-fil-a instead of Outback this weekend? Or even sell your car, buy a hooptie & join the Junky Car Club. Get creative and go check out compassion.com
You have no idea the impact you could make in a kid’s life. I kind of think Peter will be the president of Kenya one day… maybe he’ll invite me to have dinner at the Kenyan version of the White House. ☺