As preparations for a trip to Africa increased so did unsolicited comments from others.
Is it safe to travel there?
You can’t be Jesus.
Have you watched the news?
You can’t help all of them.
For several years, my husband and I prayed about a vision trip to Africa. We planned to visit sponsored children in two African countries. Additionally, we asked God to identify needs through open eyes and willing hearts and guide us as we respond.
Poverty is like an infinite bucket, impossible to fill. Former World Vision President, Richard Stearns, shared a word picture in the battle against poverty. Envision each child holding a bucket. Fill one bucket at a time. Fill it with fun, love, and hope. When one child’s bucket is full, begin to fill the next.
Yes, trying to fill an oversized bucket appeared overwhelming, but choosing to fill several child-size buckets felt doable.
In a few days, we will endure long airport lines, uncomfortable seats, bland airline food, and tiny bathrooms. However, none of these ‘hardships’ compare to what children living in poverty face every day.
With backpacks filled with soccer balls, t-shirts, jump ropes, school supplies, and stuffed animals, we move forward covered in prayer. Our mission: to fill buckets.
No, we can’t help every child. But we can fill some buckets and that feels like Jesus.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit 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.’ Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV)