April 1, 2013

Out of Poverty

She handed me two little eggs.

Two little eggs from their chicken.

Two little eggs from their chicken that lives with them and eight other chickens in their one room shack. The one room shack that harbors many 3rd world stereotypes: a tin roof, walls lined with cardboard, a dirt floor, chickens squabbling around the room, and no indoor toilet or shower.

Two little eggs: her way of saying "thank you" for the money we deliver to them each month for her husband's medical bills, money from your donations. (See post: We Are Asking You For Money)

Each time we visit, we are greeted with strong hugs and blessings from Victoria, a small but very tough old woman. She brings us plastic chairs to sit on, and when we sit we can finally see Pablino, Victoria's husband, propped up in bed. Pablino, who has not been able to walk for over 4 months or work for over 2 years due to the disease in his leg.

But this time it is different. We are greeted by the same hugs and blessings from Victoria, but also enter to see Pablino standing up with his cane. Praise God. We listen to Pablino. While his leg continues to get better, more health issues seem to always be around the corner: headaches, losing vision in one of his eyes, and so on.

And out of their poverty, out of their sickness, out of their struggle, they give us two little eggs from their chicken. The chicken that is meant to feed them, not us. Not two healthy gringos who have more than enough to live off of each month.

Two little eggs, but so much meaning. So much to learn from.

"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on." Mark 12:43-44

We so often give out of our wealth, give what doesn't hurt, give but don't actually sacrifice. Why is it that the people we think we are helping are actually the ones who are helping us, who are teaching us?

"Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability." 2 Corinthians 8:2-3

May we continue to learn to give as freely as we have been given. Thank you again for your donations for Victoria and Pablino. We have been richly blessed to not only deliver your gifts, but to also spend time with them, build friendships, and learn lessons such as these.

Grace and Peace,