LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE
In this blog you will read of our experiences here in Romania and my personal thoughts on life in general.
I will never forget the first time I heard the Christmas story as a child. It was so interesting to me. I always thought it wasn't fair that Mary and Joseph had to leave Nazareth and go to Bethlehem right when she was about to give birth to Jesus. I thought that is so cruel. Now I see things differently. God doesn't send his people on wild goose chases to find nothing. He knows what he is doing and does everything with a plan and a purpose. This trip had to be awful uncomfortable for Mary. She didn't complain a lot about her situation. She just simply obeyed. Now for some of us that would be difficult because we are always asking God why? Why did this happen and why did that happen? Now when they got to Bethlehem it was late and they were tired and hungry and Mary surely had intense labor pains. Now things get really difficult. There is no place in Bethlehem to stay. All the rooms are filled. Wow, if there would have been a big modern hotel they would have done well and been comfortable. No, this wasn't God's plan. There are always people in this world that have a little compassion. When everyone said, sorry we have no room there was one man that said, "You know I don't have room here, but I do have a stable and there is fresh straw there and you can spend the night in a warm place." Thank God for people that always look a little further and think of ways to help people in need. I like this innkeeper because it would have been so easy to say the same thing everyone else was saying. Sorry, "we have no room, just move along and go some place else. We don't want to be bothered". The son of God, Jesus Christ was born in that humble stable in the manger among the animals. God brought Mary and Joseph to this special place where there were received with joy. Then everyone wanted to come and worship that baby, the Son of God. I am sure many said, oh, if I would have know that was the Son of God that was going to be born I would have surely found a place in my little inn. All these people missed their opportunity that night.
Today my question for you my friend is, Jesus is looking for a place in the hearts of men. Will you be like the innkeepers in that day and say," I am sorry, but I have no room. My life is so filled with business, friends, hobbies, vacations and making my career and raising my family. I really don't have anymore room in my heart right now, maybe later. Let me think about it. I am looking for life in the fast lane and have more important things to do with my time. Well, Jesus is passing by and it would be a wise decision to have him in your life. So think about it. Trials, hardships, sickness and suffering sometimes come so quickly and unexpected. So my advice is, make room for Jesus in your heart today and you will have him with you forever.
This year we wish you a Wonderful Christmas as you celebrate with your family and friends. Don't forget the babe in the manger. His name is Jesus and he grew up and fulfilled his destiny. He went to the cross to be the sacrifice for our sin. He loves you and would love to be in your life and lead and guide you day by day. He will never abandon you and be a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
As soon as Dennis saw my gray Van enter into the field he came running. I have known Dennis ever since he was born. HIs mom and dad used to come to our Sunday Afternoon Kids church 14 yrs. ago. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of stress bringing in around 50 kids from the neighborhood for church. The mainline churches wouldn't accept these kids. They were dirty, vulgar and smelled really bad. So I decided we will make a church where everyone is invited. For 2 yrs. we had church at our house. Since these kids for the most part didn't go to school I felt that I couldn't take them any further in their spiritual development unless they went to school. We had acted out about every Bible story in the Bible. These kids needed to go to school but their parents didn't think education was so important. Then we decided to start a little church in their village. This way we could just go to their village and didn't have to bring van loads of kids to our house. We had 70 people coming at the beginning but then the newness wore off and they stopped coming.
Finally we had to stop having church for the kids as the building we were using had some roof problems and there was mold growing everywhere. Some of these young people ended up in jail for stealing but I always kept in touch with them. One day I said," If you kids had listened to me and went to school you would have had a better way of life. They all agreed with me.
One young lady that came to the church 14 yrs. ago was Lili and she is Dennis's mom. Actually she had her hands full trying to raise him alone. Her husband left and it was a struggle for her. Once she asked me to take him and raise him but I told her. God gave Dennis to you and he wants you to raise him. I will come and help you from time to time. So Dennis and I have a very special connection. I know his mom doesn't really want to raise him and Dennis knows that I enjoy him. He just has so much energy and needs to be able to use it working or playing sports.
It is amazing that after 14 yrs. his mom realizes that an education is important, so she is sending Dennis to school. Casa Shalom is providing him with school materials, shoes and clothes. If it takes a generation to bring change and parents start seeing the education is important it will be well worth the wait.
Today I was out in a new village. Actually going to the villages and visiting with the poor people is something I love to do. I love going there because I know I can help them to have a better life. There are things I can teach these people and things I can do to help their children. We know that some people have more motivation than others but everyone has a dream deep down in their heart. There is something they want in life and would be willing to work hard for it. That dream could be just having running water in their house or having electric. For others that dream would be to have washing machine or a new gas stove. For many village women their dream would be to have a little kitchen with cupboards and in the cupboards dishes, some kitchen utensils and pots and pans. For young people their dream is getting an iphone or just an ipad but everyone has a dream.
Today I met some people that felt like they will never see their dream come through. Nicoleta has seven children, her husband goes to work but never brings any food home for the kids. Now the kids can't even go to school. Her dreams were just as shattered and night as her house without any electric lights. Today I saw a little light come into Nicoleta's eyes.
We promised to help her. We paid her 50 dollar house tax and now she will get a little benefit from the gov't. Her pantry was empty except for two loaves of dry bread which she tried to bake without yeast. We went shopping and brought bags of food. Tears screamed down her face in amazement. God sent us to her house. We bought clothes, toys and games for the little children. We promised to help her get her children in school. Today Nicoleta began to see a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Just seeing those little smiling faces when we left brought so much joy to my heart. We need to help Nicoleta get a little kitchen put in her house. They don't have electricity but it's possible but will cost us around 600 dollars for the installation. I know these kids are wondering if we really are going to help them. I made a promise and we will keep it. Maybe you would like to help us get other children in school. Education is the only thing that will open the door and get these kids out of poverty. Lets give them a chance.
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