Thursday, June 7, 2012

Give us this day our daily bread

Have you ever wondered what kind of difference you are making in this world?  What real change are we making in this ungodly society?  The world certainly seems to be changing but not necessarily for good.  Purity and godliness are being replaced by hatred and humanism.  God’s name is used mainly as the butt of jokes or curses. 
Three Orphan boys in a local village
We have lived in community in Russia for 15 years where it is the lowest in human development but highest in suicide and alcohol and drug abuse.  Many times we have looked out our apartment window and witnessed the abuse of children by and drunken father and women being beaten a partner.  We have stepped out our door to bums rejected by society who lie bloody in our stairwell looking for a warm place to spend the night.  Orphans knock regularly on our door asking for food.  Men and women seek help for their relative who is addicted to drugs.  Seeing the needs of such a desperate society the question always comes to our minds, “What real change am I making in this world?”  
Through all the needs and desperation we believe daily every loaf of bread we give the hungry, every kopek (Russian dime) we give to the homeless, every person we show love, if done in the name of the Lord changes the world.
I saw a man in the hidden in the corner of a “Pradukti” (convenient store) counting the coins he collected throughout the day on the dirty floor.  He stayed hidden from the clerks otherwise they would have surely thrown the man to the cold street claiming it was bad for business.  After I bought a few small items I turned to walk out of the store then I spotted him counting his coins.  Begging on the street hadn’t made more him then a few dollars that day.  It was barely enough to buy a loaf of bread.  I couldn’t help but give him my few “rubles” (dollars) I had in change.  I handed him the money and said, “God bless you.”  He sat shocked barely able to say thank you as he looked at the bills.  He couldn’t believe the gesture seeing that the bills he now held were far greater value then the coins he had collected all that day. 
Homeless man passed out in front of a dumpster
A woman named Chu-du-ra rang my “domaphone” (doorbell) to our apartment.  She was asking for me but I didn’t remember her.  I went outside to meet her.  Something said to me, “Bring some money.”  She had been drinking and hadn’t eaten for a week.  She remembered me from church and said she came to me because I would always help any one who asked.  She was asking for money to travel to a near by village.  I didn’t know what she would do with the money but she promised it wouldn’t be spent on alcohol.  I gave her the money she needed regardless how she would eventually spend it.  
I asked if she had food for the trip.   She didn’t, so we went to the grocery store.   Looking as she did she wasn’t allowed to go inside but I went and bought her all sorts of prepared food, milk and bread.  Before we parted ways I reminded her of God’s saving power from addiction.  She was doubtful she could change but with tears in her eyes she listened to the words God gave me. 
Homeless women given a loaf of bread
Three Tuvan girls came to our youth ministry directly from the Children’s Tuberculosis hospital a few blocks from the church.  They had never been inside a church before and never heard of the love of God.  They sat and listened to the message simple and clear, God can change their lives.  During corporate prayer they had the opportunity to give their hearts to the Lord. 
They for the first time felt God’s power in their lives and were Spiritually fed.  We gathered around and laying hands on them prayed for their healing.  The Christian students in the group had much faith to their prayer because they hand already seen many healings take place in the past in the Tuberculosis hospital. 
I can’t say that I am a world changer but I can say that daily in some way, big or small, I give bread to the hurting and help those who are lost find Spiritual peace.  

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