Julie and David left for the
Ukraine yesterday. It must have been a
grueling trip. It began with a three
hour drive to Atlanta, and then flights to Washington DC, Paris and Kiev, followed
by a drive to the village where the orphanage they will be visiting is
located. They were due to arrive in Kiev
around 3:40 AM our time (11:40 AM local time), but I have not heard from them
since Paris, so I do not know if all went as planned. I hope they got some sleep on their
flights. They certainly didn’t get much
the night before they left. I understand
the director of the orphanage had planned a concert and show put on for them by
the children upon their arrival. I hope
no one falls asleep during it!
We arrived here in Alabama
Thursday night. Robbie and I will be
staying with the kids while Julie and David are gone. I was glad we had come a day early as we were
able to help with a lot of little things that needed to be done before they
left. We had come fully loaded down as
well with bags upon bags of boys pants and jeans.
Just days before they were due
to leave, Viktoria, the orphanage director, had told Julie that the boys there
were in desperate need of pants. Could
she please bring pants for the boys?
Another orphanage nearby needed clothes, also. Julie was happy to help as much as she was
able, but at that late notice she did not have all the resources needed to
furnish them all herself. I put in calls
to two of my sisters who have boys and asked if they had any gently used pants
or jeans they could donate to the orphans.
Did they! They were delighted to
pass on nearly new pants of every sort—jeans, cords, athletic, dress—so much in
fact that we could not get them all in our trunk! Way to go Carleen and Corinne and sons! I had to regretfully leave one large bag with
perfectly good pants behind. I consoled
myself with the thought that when Julie and David go back in a few months they can
take it with them then.
Julie nearly cried as she went
through the bags of pants and jeans.
“Praise the Lord!” she kept saying over and over. “Isn’t He a wonderful provider?!” We could picture the joy with which each pair
would be received in the Ukraine. The
next thought was “How did we get them all in the suitcases with everything else
they were taking?”
No problem for the Lord! Just as He multiplied the fishes and loaves,
and made the widow’s oil to keep flowing seemingly without end, He stretched
the space in those suitcases to hold the multiplied pants and jeans! Forty-five pairs filled the two
large bags along with gifts for all the children, candy, supplies for their
Bible camp, food, etc. for all! And
then there were the much-needed and lovingly gathered gifts for their own
soon-to-be son, Oleg. A warm winter coat,
shoes, hooded sweatshirt, long-sleeved shirts, a Russian-English Bible, a few
Lego toys among other things. They were
taking two small bags for themselves with the clothes and items they needed for
And then came the phone
call. Julie had just finished packing
the two large bags for the orphans and was praising the Lord that she got it
all in with room to spare, when she got a call from the lady heading up the
trip. “I’m so sorry,” Larissa said, “The
airline has changed the rules! Instead of
two seventy pound bags per person, we are only allowed one fifty pound bag
Eeeeek! We looked with dismay at the suitcases lying
open on the floor with all those wonderful pants and gifts for the
orphans. No way! “Hmmph!” Julie said. “It’s all going! The Lord provided and somehow He’ll make it
possible for it all to go! And I am not
unpacking those bags!”
David got online and discovered
that as active military he could take a second bag for free. They would have to pay for Julie’s second bag. So be it.
When they got to the airport however, the airline let it
go for free, too! God at work once again. Coming home would be another story, they were
told. They would have to pay for both
bags. They have a plan, though—they will
leave one suitcase with Oleg for when they go back to get him in a few months,
and they will nest one small bag inside the other empty large suitcase. Case solved!
God will provide. When He calls us to do something for Him, He
always provides the wherewithal to do it.
I Thessalonians 5:24 says, “Faithful is He that calleth
you, who also will do it.” It is a blessed thing to the Lord when we
share with the poor and needy, the afflicted, widows and orphans. Take a look at what He commands:
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. (Psalm 82:3)
Blessed is he
that considereth the poor: the
LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
He that hath
pity upon the poor lendeth unto
the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. (Proverbs
and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their
affliction… (James 1:27)
Caring for the poor and needy, widows
and orphans demands sacrifice. Are we
willing to give up some of our bounty, some of our time and energy in order to
allow the Lord to use us as His instruments?
He will provide, but often it is through us that He meets the needs of others. Our church back in Indiana is having Compassion
Sunday today as part of their Missions Month.
I am sorry to miss it. I saw Pastor’s
outline for his message when he sent it to me to do the Powerpoint for it. I am thankful for a pastor and church that not
only preaches and teaches right doctrine, but also has love. Sometimes we shy away from preaching a
“social gospel.” The true gospel is Christ
crucified, buried and risen again, but we must not forget that faith without
works is dead. They will know us by our
love. Jesus had compassion on the poor
and needy around him—both those poor and needy physically, and spiritually, as
well. And let us not forget that we
were once poor and needy in His sight, as well.
God provides. Let us allow Him to use us His instruments of
compassion and love.