November 6, 2012

We Are Asking You for Money

Why was I born in the United States? Why was I born into a Christian family, into a family that is whole, and into a family that lives on way more than $2 a day? Why was I given the opportunity to attend Christian school from Kindergarten through college? Why did I get to hit the jackpot when it comes to husbands? Why have I been blessed with such wonderful friends? Why am I healthy? Why do I get to choose where I live? Why do I get to travel? Why do I get to work at a job that I am in love with?

Why am I so filthy rich?

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded…

And why them? Why were they born here? Why are they so poor? Why are they so stuck being poor? Why can’t they find jobs? Why couldn’t they attend school past 3rd grade? Why are they sick but can’t afford doctors or medicine? Why was she robbed on her way to work? Why is his leg smaller than my arm? Why does life seem to knock them down over and over? Why don’t they ever seem to catch a break? Why won’t their suffering end?

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day

I ask myself these questions sitting in front of my laptop, inside of my warm house, munching on a bowl of cereal and then some of my favorite JalapeƱo flavored chips. I ask myself these questions after being approached for financial help 3 times this week. It’s only Tuesday.

Monday afternoon: She calls and asks how I am doing. Asks how my weekend vacation in El Salvador was. Asks how Collin is. Asks about work. Makes sure we are doing fine. Then tells me she was robbed. Last Saturday, A man came up, threatened her, took her purse, and ran away. He stole her IDs, her money, and Q1,200 (About US $150) worth of phone minutes she needed to sell to help pay the bills. The phone company is making her pay for all of the stolen minutes. She can’t afford to pay Q1,200 for anything extra in her life.

Tuesday morning: I receive an email that reads:

Dear Staff:
One of our janitors, Juan Alfredo is having some medical issues with his wife and she needs an endoscopy to be diagnosed and the cost of it is very high. Due to the emergency of the procedure they need to pay this cost at their own expenses and they do not have the funds to do it. So we decided in the administration to collect some funds to help him in this matter. The cost of the endoscopy is about Q 2000.00 (About US $250) so if you can help with any amount it will help him to lower this expense. 

Tuesday afternoon: Collin and I are invited by another one of our school janitors (who is also a cobbler and a pastor), to visit some friends with him. We walk less than five minutes from school on a dirt path to these friends’ home that is not really a home. It’s a metal shack lined with cardboard on the inside. It has dirt floors. It has wooden furniture. It has a bed just bigger than a twin where this 76 year old couple sleeps, and where the husband has spent every day for the past two years.

He has some sort of acid, some sort of disease in his leg that has not allowed him to walk at all in the past two months, and he hasn't been able to work at all in the past two years. Below the knee, his left leg is smaller than my arm.

“They are brothers in Christ,” the wife explains to her husband as we sit down. She works in the market during the day, wishing she could be two places at once: earning money for their needs and at home so she can care for her husband. They can’t afford doctor visits, or pain medication, or the vitamins he needs to strengthen his leg. Those things cost Q1,300 per month (About $160).

I ask our janitor/pastor friend to pray. He does.

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me…

He goes on. He continues to pray for a miracle in this man’s life. He thanks God that we want to help, prays blessings on us and on our marriage.

And here we are. It’s Tuesday night now. And we have been called to action.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

We are asking for financial help from you to pass on to these wonderful people: a friend ($150), a coworker ($250), and an acquaintance ($160 per month). We are praying for a miracle in each of these people’s lives. Would you be willing to be a part of that miracle?
There is no convenient way to do this, so we are taking a tacky route instead. If you would like to contribute, please email me ( or facebook inbox) with how much you would like to contribute and simply reimburse us later. US dollars multiply by 8 here, so every little bit helps! Reimbursement can either be in person when we come home for Christmas, or through mail sent to my parent’s address (message me for it.)

And let us speak honestly. We are scared: scared of sounding “holier-than-thou,” scared of being misunderstood, scared of people thinking this is a request for another handout, scared of absolutely no response at all.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given only what comes from your hand…and all of it belongs to you.

Grace and Peace,