What does it look like to be so desperate to survive, to provide for yourself, to have a roof over your head, to have food to eat that you give up your body...monthly, weekly, maybe even hourly just so you can survive...so you can provide for your children...
Do we pass judgment on those who are victims of their circumstances? Can you even imagine being in a similar situation? We may have come from a family with means. We may have a good job. We ma have an education. But, what happens when the company we work for downsizes or closes their doors? What happens when you can't make the mortgage payment? Or the car payment? What happens when you apply for jobs at fast-food restaurants or grocery stores or big-box stores and they see your resume...they see that you're overqualified, even though you are willing to do what it takes to to to provide for you family! You allow the snowmobile or boat or 4-wheeler to go back to the bank or you sell them for a ridiculously low price to try to make a mortgage payment. You see some of your personal possessions on Craigslist. You need to buy some groceries! You need tot put some gas in the tank. Your home is going into foreclosure. Where will you go? How long will you survive? Where will you live? Who can help? Where will you get the money for the deposit and 1st month's rent? You need to find the local food shelves because you don't have the money to get more than milk, eggs, and a few perishable food items. And what about the people judging you...you pull up in your nice car because it's the only thin you have managed to keep and it runs good....but you don't know if you will be able to keep that for long, either. How will you keep up with the car insurance? And you need a cell phone so you will hopefully get a call for that job you've been waiting for!
How do you look at the world? How do you judge people? Are you seeing the world through rose-colored glasses? Can you take them off long enough to look someone in the eye...to really see them and consider their needs...their story...
Will you consider helping someone?
The woman in the photo here is someone that I met online. She is needing help for her and her daughter. Will you consider helping her? If you can help financially, please email her. If you can't or won't help financially, will you at least PRAY for her and her circumstances?
Here is part of a conversation I had with her:
Me: Can you tell me more about the cost of things in your country? Examples of food items, soaps, etc....and what is the currency that you use?
Angella Sakala: Hie here in our we use malawi kwacha and dollars as our curency,examples of food items we usualy use maize flour for cooking nsima,we eat rice these are locally found foods and the cost is a little bit cheaper than other food items,housing is expensive most landlord needs three to six months payment
Malawi its a developing country and in most things we are still behind
Me: How many kwacha for some flour? How many kwacha for 3 or 6 months rent? What are some other foods you eat & purchase?
Angella Sakala: Prices of foods items depends on the quality,for low quality 50kg of maize flour is mk10,200 and 50kg of rice is mk25,000 of course we many foods items and one buys according to money she has,for rent govern housing for small flats is 250 dollars for three months but for private owned houses they charge differently
Me: Thank you for helping me to understand.
Here is a letter Angella has written:
From: Angellina Sakala
C/o Mr G. Machamo
Post Office Box 446
Mzuzu Malawi Central Africa
TO: WELL WISHERS
RE: LETTER OF MY SITUATION
My name is Angellina Sakala an African from a country called Malawi, am 30 years old, single parent. I lost my both parents 15 years ago and left 6 of us, since that time we have been struggling with life. I have grown up a life of sorrow and poverty till I met a certain man who volunteered himself that he will help our family out of poverty in the process of trying to help our family he impregnated me, infected me with disease (HIV AIDS) and run away, I don’t see him up to date for 13 years. What forced me to write to you is that am homeless, jobless, nothing for basic needs, my daughter who is 13 years now cannot continue her education due to financial challenges. What have really changed since am jobless am daughter can’t continue her education. This thing really pains me because I know if she will not be educated she will continue to suffer her whole life and what happened to me can also happens to her if the situation does change for a better Since am not working I can’t afford to find my own accommodation (I have nothing to pay for rentals) am living with a friend in a shabby unsecured small house, I do everything for her what I get back is just accommodation. The same happens to my daughter who is living 230km away from me with a certain woman, she help her all household chore in turn of accommodation and I don’t know where my 3 brothers and 2 sisters are Nothing for basic needs like food, clothing, soap and I usually eat only evening when the owner of the house is back from her small business. I was very strong, energetic but now my CD4 counts has really decreased due to lack of sufficient foods in the body I know here in our country unemployment rate is very high and people who are doing well in life continuing doing well and things are better for them and those who are poor are getting poorer and poorer. If you don’t have someone to speak for you in order to get a job then you are in trouble. The only thing as of now I can do while looking for a job is doing business if capital can be found,while doing a business I can be schooling to add up my education since I have not gone further with my studies. I can also find a piece of land and be doing small farming but all these need something for a start
Housing here its expensive most landlord prefer tenants who can pay for that whole one year or 6 months and for someone who has little can’t manage to pay for the whole year. People of low income what they are doing is that if it is three bedroom house then 3 people will be renting that one house and just share rooms but each one mind her own business. It’s cheaper and easier It’s hard to find a job as I already stated if you don’t have someone on top position to speak for you. Other people are surviving because of their parents who are well to do, others are doing businesses and others have took over from their parent’s wealth. Another thing that hinders me most from applying for more jobs is that where I stay in the village 40km to where I can access newspapers (national library) here 99% of job vacancies they advertise in newspapers and mode of application it’s through posting and postage stamp. To find a dollar while doing nothing its hard and you can’t use a dollar for posting letter while you are hungry It’s God’s grace to find a job easier but it’s much better to be doing something to earn a living while looking for a job and you can’t start doing something while you have nothing If a good Samaritan can be found I would rather want him or her to help me the following as priotised:
1. Accommodation-The house am staying with my friend it’s not secured,not in a good condition.I really want to be staying with my daughter and bring her up the way of the lord
2. Basic needs (Foods, soap)-I don’t know where to start for me to have
something in my stomach and for my health sake I really need to be eating
3. School fees for my daughter-I want my daughter to go back to school as it is the only way she can make her future
4. Capital for business/farming-Need to be doing something while searching for a job. Any type of assistance/gifts will be appreciated even just food supplement/vitamins or immune booster products for my health I will appreciate.
Your Sister in Christ Angellina Sakala
God, please help me to "show" love through my actions. Amen
I had a flat tire. Of course, this particular morning I forgot my cell phone at home. It was also my first class of the summer session. I was supposed to be there at 8:00 am. That didn't happen.
The back of my Durango had stuff in it because I was moving soon. In order to get to the spare tire I had to move some stuff to get to the mechanism that lowers the tire. So, where is the tool to do that? I've had to change a flat tire before so I knew that I had it somewhere. And, of course, I have to remove my mudflaps that attach to the receiver hitch so I have access to the tire that is now lowered. Well, finally time to loosen the lug nuts so I can change the tire. Well, they were too tight to loosen with the wrench by hand. I grabbed onto the luggage rack bar for stability and stand on it--okay, I bounce on it--okay, I jump on it. That's not working. maybe if I try other lug nuts. Nope. Nothing.
So, how many cars have driven by? I look hopefully at each one now. Hope keeps driving by! I'm upset, disappointed, frustrated. Okay, maybe if I throw the wrench someone will realize that I need help. Yep, they may assume that I need mental help or help for anger management, too. (Luckily, no one saw me.)
Why isn't anyone stopping? Is it because i have on jeans and a brown "barn" style coat and I'm not dresses as if I'm worthy of help? Is it because some people don't recognize me as a female? What would have happened if I had long hair? would someone have stopped? Do we make assumptions about people and their abilities by the way we look? Do we assume they all have the same resources we do? I don't wan to be considered a "helpless female" by asking the questions, but just someone that needed help--just to be asked I needed help.
I finally decided to put things back in the truck and lock it up so I could walk to the gas station that was a little over a mile away. It was misting and I was still hoping that someone might stop and ask if needed a ride or offer to help in some way. I hear cars coming and turn to look, hoping through the tears that someone will stop. I get closer to a road that leads into a neighborhood. One car pulls out. I'm not close enough and they turn in the opposite direction. Another car--I'm still not close enough. maybe I'll be able to catch someone pulling out of there. Yes! Finally! A wonderful woman rolled down her window and allowed me to use her cell phone to call my sister and brother-in-law for help. I certainly hope I didn't make her late for work!
So, what's the point of this story? Well, I think there are a few things...
First of all, it didn't help to throw the tire iron. I had to go get it. Besides, how likely are you to stop and help someone that looks violent?
Second, remember that sometimes things happen with God's timing, and not yours or mine. although I wanted to make it to class on time, how much worse could things have been if I would have had a blow-out on the freeway driving 75mph rather than on a county road? I was also close to my sister and brother-in-law's when it happened and was able to easily get help from them.
Third, Luke 6:31 says, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." this was a good reminder for me to stop and see if people need help. I forgot my cell phone, so assuming that someone has help coming in the midst of their situation may be presumptuous.
Finally, and probably most important: PRAY! Maybe my prayers didn't get answered in the way I wanted or expected, but I'm pretty sure that the way in which they were answered was probably better than what I had initially hoped for.
In a this day and age everything seems to be controversial, does everything have to be an argument? Must everyone have the same exact views and beliefs? Did God create robots or individuals? God created us with beautiful exquisite creative minds, with free will to think and act on our own. All one must really ask themselves is if their thoughts or beliefs are good and wholesome and pure, meant for good and peaceful things, not harm, not war, not evil. Let us find ways to live in peace with everyone.
Meet Bobby and Debbie. We met Bobby as he sat on a curb holding the sign, asking for help. They live in an RV, parked in the parking lot of a Walmart. Bobby and Debbie both were laid off from their jobs and lost everything in the process. Living with them but not pictured is their friend Steve who lost everything after his wife lost her battle with cancer. Recently, Steve just lost his dog as well, as it apparently was stolen from the parked RV. The three may be down on their luck, but they are all high in their spirit for life, for hope, and for God! They were really grateful for the groceries we dropped off and thanked us again for our visit. What can we do to help this trio get back on their feet?!
Some things require no additional words!
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! Please be safe tonight as you celebrate bringing in the New Year. Please drink responsibly...call a sober cab, a friend, a co-worker, your pastor, a family member, anyone, someone sober though, for a ride if you have consumed any alcohol. Please also have the courage to take away the keys of a friend who should not be driving after consuming. Please also wear your seat belts and watch out for other drivers on the road. Never assume you know what the other driver is going to do, take caution through intersections. All this - It may just save your life or the life of another. Please call. Share post with your number, be a solution for someone tonight!
We’ve been married just over a year. We’ve made the commitment that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. We know that we love each other, that we love God, that God loves us, and that God has a plan for us, individually, and as a couple.
One of the things we have in common is that we like to hunt. I took Theresa out deer hunting for the first time in November 2011. She used a new rifle that I purchased but hadn’t used yet. I had the scope mounted and had the gun sighted in so she could use it. She got her first deer and was hooked on hunting and the taste of venison.
While we were living in Florida, we had our hunting stuff in storage. We went to pick it up last weekend. This fueled hunting fever. We went to one of the large sporting goods retailers to look at hunting supplies that we may want on our wishlist. In the midst of our shopping, Theresa said she wanted to talk to me about something. She wanted to have a gun of her own. She said, “You have 3 choices: You can give me the one I shot my deer with, you can let me buy it from you, or I can buy a new one.” I was a little taken back. Yes, I have given guns away before, but it has been in my timing, not someone else.
So many thoughts…It’s my wife. It’s my gun. Why can’t we just have them as a part of our household? Why does it have to be hers? I get it. I understand. She shot her first deer with it. But, I’ve already sold some of my guns and my collection is getting smaller. But, it’s nice not to have to borrow things like guns.
As we continued our conversation about the gun, she said, “If it’s mine, does that mean I can put on a different scope? Can I put a different sling on it? Can I buy a different case for it?" So I’m thinking, what’s wrong with the things I’ve done to the gun? What’s wrong the $400 scope? Or the nice neoprene sling? Or the case with extra padding where the scope is? My real fear is that we don’t end up staying together. After all, my prior relationship of 20 years ended. We both expected that our previous relationships were going to last a lifetime. This led to a discussion about gifts.
Again, back to my timing in giving and giving from my heart. Theresa felt bad thinking that she had given me an ultimatum. Why did I require time to think about it? I wanted to give her something like that, but hadn’t thought of it up to that point, but I know I would have. So, the question comes up……………
If I give her the gun and things change and we don’t stay together, is a gift still a gift? The answer: YES!
And how did we come to that conclusion? What would happen if God decided to go back on the gift of eternal life through the death of Jesus? WOW! That was a powerful thought!
A gift is a gift–for all time.
May you have the greatest gift of all: Eternal Life!
Since I didn’t have any coffee creamer at the house this morning, I decided to go to the gas station to get some (I know it’s not “real” for you die hard coffee drinkers). On my 5 mile drive I noticed the beauty of the changing fall colors. Some of the trees were still green, some were already red, orange, and burgundy, and some had spatterings of color.
The color variations in the individual trees made me think about how God gradually transforms me. I know that I’m a work in progress. I’m undergoing transformation as God changes me, one part at a time, and thankfully not all at once! Some people may have noticed the changes that are slowly taking place. Some may never notice, and some may not see them until a more full transformation has taken place.
Sometimes transformation is hard for me. Sometimes it takes work for me to become the person God wants me to be–always walking in love. There are parts of me that are not yet transformed. There are times when I want to get even with those that have wronged me. There are times when I am judgmental of others. There are times when I’m not understanding. There are times when I let my emotions get in the way of love. There are times when I feel competitive and want to “beat” someone at a task, job, or activity. I don’t need to out-do others, to compete, to judge, to get upset, or let my emotions take over. What I really need to do is concentrate on doing things to the best of my God-given ability.
I am called to do my best to God’s glory, not to gain recognition for myself. I want my true colors to be those that God has transformed, not those that I started with.
Sometimes I wonder
if we are doing what God is calling us to do
and just trying to live
in the moments of His plan
rather than plan our plan.
Or are we altering the course all together?
I feel lost.
No direction no connection
no purpose no clue.
I feel like last year
we were so enthusiastic in the Lord,
and now its day-to-day
when we have time
or think about it.
No routine all routine.
Cluttered clouds, mumbled thoughts.
What to do.
What are we pushing for
are we pushing
should we be pushing
do we push
how far to push if we should be pushing?
To push or not to push.
What to push for, when to push.
Make a checklist of things to do
and for us.
Gives us direction
gives me direction
gives you direction.
Make all the checklists in the world
does no good
if we don’t actually do
what is on the checklists.
Lots to do
lots to do
the lots to do.
So much in the way
need to de clutter the way
to get to the light
to do whats right.
You’re going to read this
and be like huh?
He loves us.
We love Him.
Where to start
what to do first.
De clutter the clutter
get a clear vision
a clear path
for the proclamation.
Or are they random?
What is going on in my head?
Is it Him?
Is it me?
Who, what, why, how?
I don’t know
I am lost.
Lost in the cloud
in the dense fog.
Need to clear the fog
to see the other side.
How to clear the fog
to see the other side.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Waiting for something.
What are we waiting for?
What am I waiting for?
It’s on the horizon.
I feel it.
I sense it.
De clutter the clutter
clear the dense fog.
Make the checklist
do the checklist
and wait no more.
He loves us.
We love Him.
Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers."
Often in life God calls us to action in tough situations. While the calling God gave us may feel within reason, it can also have some challenging consequences . These consequences tend to feel more personal when the calling will affect family or friends adversely, rather than with strangers. It may seem to us the reaction of friends and family may be more harsh then we expected. We are scrutinized, if not despised, for doing what God asks us to do. In these situations, we may find ourselves feeling like we are drowning in a pond of muck.
Micah 7:7 "As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me."
In the midst of the new turmoil we may now find ourselves in, we are likely questioning what we were called to do. We don’t understand why we suddenly find ourselves almost drowning simply because we were doing what we were called to do. If it truly was the right thing then why does it seem so negative afterward? Did we get the calling right or did we misinterpret what God in fact wanted us to do? Did we have the calling right but the execution wrong? In these situations we can almost certainly feel like a turtle who by nature moves slow, but is now hurriedly trying to climb out of a threatening pond of muck onto any floating limb for safety. When we continue to look to the Lord for answers, we will be reminded, God is all powerful and will never give us more than we can handle. All one has to do is look to God and ask for help to receive it. You see, God knew who to command to the situation, and how that situation would play out. Somewhere in the muck that follows will emerge Gods children, who God promised to save because they chose to believe and act in good faith.
I don’t always make the right decisions. I don’t always choose the right path. I don’t always choose the “high road.” I let my emotions get the best of me. I do things that are for my benefit.
I don’t like to do things that make me uncomfortable. I don’t like going “against the grain.” But, I need to remember to let God take control.
What happens when I listen to the voice of God? Things may not always be easy, but things seem to be “right” when I listen to the voice behind me. Sometimes what I am asked to do isn’t difficult, but may be a little out of my comfort zone. I have been asked to do something as simple as giving a few bucks or a package of cheese crackers to someone on the street corner. Sometimes I have to go around the block to do it. If I listen, I don’t question whether it was God…unless I don’t do it…then I wonder if I was missing something that God asked me to do.
Sometimes the things I am asked to do seem harder than giving a few dollars or some cheese crackers…like forgiving when I’ve been hurt, selling most of my possessions to move to a different part of the country, or contemplating how to do the “right” thing when it’s the hard thing. I’m certainly not perfect, but I am glad that God’s voice is behind me to direct me. I know that I may not always get it right, but I pray that I will continue to listen more than I avoid the voice of God.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
All too often I find myself taking my eyes off the Lord and relying on what I can do to fix my problems. When this happens I start to drown like Peter did when he was walking on the water with Jesus. When life’s stressors hit us, we just need to keep our eyes and trust on Him. By staying focused on Jesus instead of drowning in our stress we would gracefully walk on top of it.
I was bullied in school. I had mustard slathered on my coat and in my hair, I was kicked in the privates, I got called all kinds of names, made fun of for being insert reason here_…
The list goes on and on. The effects are life lasting but can be overcome.
- Parents, please, remember that how you judge others and treat others is what you are teaching your children. They go to school with your ideologies and judgements and mimic what they see and hear. Teach them to love and accept all kinds, because they would want to be loved and accepted some day for what might make them different in a crowd.
- Bullies, That kid that sits next to you who stinks, may be afraid to shower at home. The child who has goodwill clothes instead of new in style popular labels, can not help determine the amount of money their parents bring in. The child who is overweight, may have medical problems. The child whose skin is colored differently than yours does not get a choice about that. Point is, don’t judge someone for what you see, but who you see. The inner person. Luke 6:31 31Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Non-Bullies, Shout from the roof tops till someone hears your cries for help. Do not give up. There is more to this world than you at a young age know or can comprehend. You are beautiful the way you are. If we were all the same cookie cutter robots walking around how boring life really would be. Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t stoop to their level of violence. I know its hard, I have been where you are. You must find somebody who will take a stand for you and protect you. There are a few loving adults left out there yet.
How many times do things happen that cause you to get off track? I know that stressful situations can cause me to lose focus on what is ahead, on the plan God has for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 is a good reminder for me…that I don’t have to let my circumstances get in the way of what God has in store for me. I don’t have to deal with my problems alone. I’m not required to become short-sighted. I need to remind myself continually that God is with me every step of the way and that I don’t have to get stuck on the same track all the time…that I can let God be my guide, my conductor.
More Articles ...
Page 1 of 6