Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beans and Rice...Yummy Yummy

So this has been our family's meal for the past 3 nights. Beans and rice...yummy yummy (anyone else thinking of The Wiggles song "Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy"?) Our church presented us with the very cool challenge of eating rice and beans for 3 days--either just for dinner or for all 3 meals--as an opportunity to help an orphanage in Honduras that we have a strong ongoing relationship with. By committing to eating rice and beans for 3 days, we contributed our grocery and/or restaurant money to help support a feeding program that Ministerios de Fe Vida Nueva "Ministries of Faith and New Life" runs. Just by 1000 people in our church doing this, we were able to feed these 50 children in Honduras for 1 YEAR. Praise the Lord!

There are many issues and groups of people that God really cares about but did you know that there are 3 specific groups of people that are mentioned over and over in God's Word? These people are the orphans, the widows and the strangers. In fact, the importance of caring for these people is mentioned more than 60 times in the Bible! Deutoronomy 10:18 says, "He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing."

As I ate my rice and beans for 3 nights (and watched my 7-year-old whine the first night, then realize that's all he was getting the next 2 nights!) God broke my heart for the mother who cannot feed her children. My heart broke. I got tears in my eyes as I thought of being able to walk into a grocery store and buy the bagels and cream cheese that Charlie had asked for, being able to buy donuts this Saturday morning for a treat. I thought, would I be tempted to steal to feed my children? How unbearable to be in that position, where you know it is wrong, but it is more wrong to have hungry babies.

To be honest, I like rice and beans. :) By the third night, I put a little cheese on them for all of us, and boy did everyone think that was a treat! Isn't it amazing how our perspectives can change so quickly? When I find our family losing that perspective a little bit, you better believe that I will be bringing out the rice and beans again! Here is a lovely prayer that was sent out to help encourage us as we finished up our 3-day journey:
Lord God, you love us, you love your church, and you love those who are oppressed and underprivileged. We are now done eating our beans and rice for 3 days. But let this not just be 3 days of something we chose to do that will be forgotten. May it leave an impression on our hearts that leads us to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You. Help us to love and give freely to those in need because it is part of who we are in Christ. Amen.

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