One of our days in Ecuador consisted of working with a ministry called Opcion de Vida. This is a well established ministry to the street kids in Quito. Our team's task for the day was to take an interpreter and a handful of invitations and walk around the city looking for street kids to invite them to come to the ministry for a game of soccer.
This ministry has showers and place for the street kids to sleep and they feed them dinner. But you have to persuade them to come, first. So, Simon and I and our interpreter set off to find some of these kids who were living in the streets. Our walk seemed very unsuccessful at first as for some reason there were none to be found. Then, when we were almost back to the ministry's building we saw a boy with his jacket laid out on the concrete and he was collecting something into it. So, we approached him. As we got closer, we could see he was collecting some type of berries and he was looking up and talking to someone in the tree. When we reached him, we looked up and there were two other young boys up in the tree who were shaking the branches for the berries to fall to the ground. All three of the boys were happy to see us and we invited them to the ministry.
As we walked away and back to the ministry building, I made a comment to Simon that our day had not been successful because we had only met and invited three boys. His response was full of faith, "But Amanda, it may be that it was just those three boys we were supposed to have met and invited. Maybe they will come.." I didn't have much faith and didn't think about it again...just wrote it off.
Well, to my surprise, about an hour later, all three of those boys showed up. We took them into the ministry's office and gave them new shirts, toothbrushes and other new items. I began talking to the older boy of the three. He was one of the ones who was in the tree, so I've decided to call him, "Zaccheus". :) You might remember the story in the new testament of how Zaccheus was up in the tree waiting for Jesus to pass by and when Jesus saw him, he invited him to come down and join him.
Zaccheus was very open to us and so I asked him if he knew who Jesus was and he said yes. He also began telling us that he practiced "animalism" and "cutting" to let out of his pain. He proceeded to show the scars and cuts he makes all over his forearms. Immediately I thought of one our team mates, Katelyn, who had just shared her personal testimony. Her testimony is awesome b/c through the love of Christ, she beat her cutting habit. So, Katelyn and I began talking to Zaccheus even more about Jesus and you could tell he was so ready to receive him as the Lord of his life. So, we prayed with Zaccheus and he received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior that day. He promised to keep coming back to the ministry where he can be discipled and we gave him a bible and he loved the verses that our team mate Stephanie showed him.
I keep thinking about how he was up in that tree shaking the tree so he could get the ripe fruit to fall. He didn't realize that he was the fruit that was ripe and ready to picked. My prayer many times is "Lord, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. So, I am asking you to send out workers into your harvest field." Zaccheus was truly so ready to receive the Lord as his Savior and all God needed was a worker to go and invite him into this relationship. Simon had the faith to believe they would come and God did the rest through our team.
The harvest truly is plentiful, they are ripe and ready to be invited... but, the workers are few. They need you to come to them and invite them...
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".