I consider it a privilege that where we are staying now is situated near a slum area. For 15 years since I started going to college until now, this has been my second home. I grew up waking up each day opening the gate seeing those who rummage the garbage of what they can salvage and sell. Or that moment when I pass by their community and the pair of torn and tattered shoes I have decided to throw out and dispose the other day is now being displayed at the side walk for sale – 10 pesos. 🙂
Now when this happened I just smiled – what I considered a garbage is a blessing to others. I can’t help though but feel for these people. I know God has a special place for them in His heart and I know that they will soon be given an opportunity to know God and have better lives here in this world – better spiritual lives. This is all that matters. I know that when Christ is living in their hearts, they will see God as the sole provider of all of their needs and the only source of hope – not the government nor foundations/organizations.
This thought pacifies me every time I feel at a loss how to provide them the financial and material support that they need. I had to control myself that what they needed are not money nor possessions but Christ. If I give in to the temptation of providing them their basic needs, I will be drawing their attention to me as the provider and not to God who is the ONLY provider unless they already have a firm foundation of who Jesus and God are in their lives.
The latter posits as a challenge because what we’ll be infiltrating is a set of cultural values and beliefs that have been embedded even longer than most of us have lived. We are banking on not just one person but a family and eventually a community.
Thus, they are constantly in my prayers. May they be given opportunities to have a saved life, free from the corruption of this world. May they find hope in the beauty of salvation and what it brings to someone’s life – like mine.
This is possibly the reason why I became active in supporting a wide range of advocacy that focuses on family and community outreach. Though for now I feel like I haven’t been contributing much with my limited capacity to help but I know prayers are powerful and God hears all of them.
It doesn’t feel right with me that I am experiencing a life better than them in some aspects and yet on a certain level, I feel one with them – we are all sinners. This, alone, will bind me closer to them despite the differences.
To end this short article (this was unplanned because today is a busy day for me but I just felt I had to share it) I’ll just quote the first beatitude: