God’s Shameless Love for the Poor

Today as I type this post I feel as though I am trying to take just a little sip of water out of an open fire hydrant.  There are so many stories that I will never get the chance to tell.  My heart and mind are processing so many things at one time that I am having a hard time sleeping at night even though I am beyond exhausted when my head hits the pillow.  I can honestly say that this trip is one of the hardest things I have ever done but absolutely one of the most meaningful. 

Yesterday I got an email from Amanda and she asked me if I could keep my eyes peeled open for a special child for her to sponsor.  So, Amanda, what do you think about Latangi?

Is she too much or what?  I met her today on one of our home-visits in an extremely poor village.  She totally could have fit in my suitcase but I figured Living Proof wouldn’t completely support kidnapping so I relented.  Amanda, you would have seriously died.  Her Mother has the daunting task of raising four children singlehandedly since her husband died three months ago of a heart attack.  Latangi, her Mom, and two of her siblings sleep in two tiny beds in a one-room 8×8 bamboo structure while her older brother sleeps on the hard cement floor.  She currently has no sponsor with Compassion and while her Mom works during the day she is left all alone.  She is four years old.  Four years old and left alone all day to do heaven knows what.  Just think, Amanda, if you sponsor her, Compassion International will provide the opportunity for her to be in school under the umbrella of the local church studying and learning skills during the day to dramatically boost her chances of survival.

There are hundreds of faces, hundreds of Indian children, who are just as precious and in just as dire circumstances who are in need of sponsors.  You can take a look for yourself here or you can just click on the Compassion India banner on the left of our margin.  The Compassion East India office partners with the local churches in a rigorous selection process to choose children who are in the greatest need of sponsorship.  They are generally among the poorest of the poor in their area.  I can assure you, every child you browse through on the Compassion website has a story that has the potential to change your life. 

Today the Compassion East India office briefed us on some administrative issues.  I’ve always wanted to use the word “briefed” because it makes me feel so Jack Bauerish.  And now I have and it was fun.  Anyway, each child has his or her own binder and inside that binder is a thick stack of papers that record everything from medical records to the complete log of child/sponsor correspondence.  My new and absolutely hilarious friend and fellow blogger Pete Wilson and I were shocked to see that one of the children had been co-sponsored by two High School girls.  Can you imagine?   Instead of buying an expensive designer handbag or a new pair of heels, these two seventeen- year-old girls combined their money to bring some hope to a child in India they have never even met.  It just downright blew our minds. 

Can I just tell you that the more I fall in love with the people in Calcutta the more grateful I am that we serve a God who cares deeply about the poor?  I could list verse after verse as far back as Genesis all the way through Revelation that reflect God’s concern for the poor and oppressed. I could quote the striking and slightly scary beatitudes in the gospel of Luke like “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” but right now I am far too consumed with Isaiah 58, especially the first eleven verses.  My Mom and Amanda both encouraged me separately with this chapter before I set off last week and I have been meditating on it throughout the week. 

These verses have spoken to me in so many distinct ways over the past few days but I am especially stricken by Isaiah’s definition of true religion.  I hope you’ll take some time to study this passage on your own but in brief, the people of Israel cry out with frustration because they do not feel that God is responding to their pious fasting.  The text goes on to convey that, in fact, God really isn’t all that impressed by their outlandish religious demonstrations like bowing their heads in “humility” or laying in sackcloth and ashes. 

No. 

His definition of fasting is cast in remarkably different terms.  If the people of God want to fast in such a way that they just might get God’s attention then they need to start being agents of justice in a broken world.  They need to stop believing that humility before God and apathy toward their fellow human beings, especially the poor and oppressed, could ever co-exist.  They need to loosen the chains of injustice.  Set the oppressed free.  Share food with the hungry.  Clothe the naked.  The incredible part about this passage is the promise that if the covenant people of God would really truly fast in such a mind-boggling and earth-shaking way, then light will break forth like the dawn.  The Lord will turn his ear toward them and His very glory will be their protection.  I take so much heart in the fact that our God is a God who loves the people in Calcutta who are bound by the tight grip of poverty.  That He thinks that caring for them is essential, that it is at the very core of our personal and corporate spirituality.  What a vivid picture of the bountiful and impartial love of God.

Now I think we all know that God does care deeply about the poor.  Scripture is blatantly clear about it but why do you think that God cares so deeply for the poor?  Why would Jesus say, “Blessed are the poor” or why would James ask his readers “Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom”?  What is, in your opinion, at the bottom of His love for the poor? 

I am personally still thinking this through but I read something recently that Richard Bauckham wrote and it really rocked me.  He said, “Poverty, in a sense, exposes the truth of the human situation in its need of God.  It dispels the illusion of being self-sufficient and secure, with no need of God.  The poor are those whose material condition enables them to see more clearly than most the human need to be wholly reliant on God.  It is in this sense that the biblical poor are understood as paradigmatic in their faith.” (Richard Bauckham, Wisdom of James, disciple of Jesus the Sage, 190).   I’m not sure how exactly to explain it, but this statement really resonated with me.  Perhaps Jesus speaks of the poor as the paradigmatic people of God because the poor, kind of like the chronically ill, are most likely to recognize their utter need for God’s saving power.  Perhaps the Lord commands the rich (which in context of our global economy is you and me, even the poorest among us) to empathize and identify with the plight of the poor and care for the needy so that they too can glean this truth. Humankind in its totality is completely dependent on God’s power and provision.  There are no exceptions.  All material wealth is fleeting and fading quickly.  

What do you think? 

I can’t wait to read your thoughts and opinions.  I cherish you all.  I mean it.  I’m so grateful for all of your different personalities and perspectives.  I’m deeply privileged to walk this journey with all of you.

One of my favorite shots of the children’s little shoes: (P.S. Keely Scott, Compassion Photographer, rocks my face off)

Subrata and me.  He wants to be a Policeman when he grows up so that he can take care of his Mom and she never has to go to work anymore.  She cleans houses and he wants to do all the work for her so that she will be able to relax at home.  He is seven.  Seven-year olds shouldn’t have to think about taking care of their Moms.  But Subrata does.

A precious girl named Rinky Roy’s little box where she places the treasures her sponsor has mailed her.  She has the best sponsor ever.  Her sponsor faithfully mails letters and has even bought her clothes and paid for a piece of furniture in their little tiny home. Rinky’s sponsor repeatedly tells her how much she loves her.  Rinky loves to study and has dreams to be a Doctor.  Tell me Compassion International didn’t have something to do with that. 

Me talking with the little women about their favorite movies.  They all apparently love Jurassic Park I, II, and III.  Who would have thought?  When did the third one come out anyhow?

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  1. 1
    Cheri-Beri says:

    Ironically, I think at the bottom of God’s love for the poor is compassion. Compassion for the difficult journey they face. Compassion for the hardships they must endure.

    Compassion.

  2. 2
    Tiffany says:

    Wow Melissa. This post is wonderful and endearing! And that little girl! Oh how precious!!!!! My hubby and I are desperately trying to get our finances in order so that we can sponsor a child. I am just falling in love entirely with all of these children.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~

    Praying on my knee’s for you daily!!!

    Oh Melissa,
    I wish you could fit all those precious little ones in your suitcase/ do you need me to send lots of BIG suitcases to bring them back here for me to raise!! I adore children of all ages!!!
    Humble yourself in the presence of the LORD and HE will lift you up!!! Looks like you are exactly where you are supposed to be!!!
    Amen!!
    With “Heaven bound” blessings,
    Kim Safina
    http://www.kimsafinathejourneycontinues.blogspot.com

  4. 4
    Yolanda says:

    Melissa, I can’t even begin to imagine the thoughts running through your beautiful head or the beats of your heart in the CURRENT. But I am so every thankful for your taking time out of your trip to share this time with us. We love you and are covering you in prayer. Honestly, these pictures will be the undoing of me….spell-bound.

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  5. 5
    Karen says:

    My daughter and 2 friends also sponsored a Compassion child while in high school and my daughter kept it up until finances became too tight in college.

  6. 6
    fuzzytop says:

    Melissa,

    “…The poor are those whose material condition enables them to see more clearly than most the human need to be wholly reliant on God.”

    This quote has made me think…

    I think the world typically expects to see the poor and ill turn from God, seeing Him as either uncaring, or unwilling to provide. This quote made me see it differently, that perhaps they are drawn closer to Him by their desperate need. And in reaching out to help them, perhaps we can show them that yes He cares, and we ourselves are blessed in the process.

    Keep the posts coming!

    Much love,
    Adrienne

  7. 7
    Amy Bennett says:

    Melissa, you have no idea how your words are touching us that are simply reading about your visit. I can’t imagine how you are affecting those like Latangi that you are meeting. Thank you for doing this.

  8. 8
    Melanie says:

    The title says it all. Praying for you, and thankful to have already been blessed personally by your trip updates. Having been to several third world countries (not India), your words brought those memories back afresh. I am always reminded that WE have much more to learn from the poor than we have to teach. God has so much to teach us through them. Maybe even wants us to be MORE LIKE THEM. Ouch. While I can’t believe God is pleased when children live in such poverty that their basic needs are not met, or that they are abused or taken advantage of (I am NOT saying that AT ALL), and I’m NOT AT ALL disagreeing with the WONDERFUL work Compassion and others are doing, but I hope that we (wealthy westerners) do not deprive the poor of the precious jewel they have that we STRUGGLE to find…total dependence on the Provider. Maybe I won’t find the answer to that unless I literally give up everything for Him. Wow. Do you see what you’ve started here?! 🙂

  9. 9
    Smile that smile says:

    I’m living vicariously through your posts. Thanks so much.

  10. 10
    Living day by day for Jesus says:

    I am praying for you! I know you will be processing the things you are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and living, for a long time to come…My prayer is that God would open your eyes to where He is at work and where you can be of most use right now during your time there!

    GOD BLESS YOU SISTER!

  11. 11
    Melissa says:

    Melanie, I understand where you are coming from. These are difficult issues to talk about which is why I thought it would be a helpful discussion. Thank you for your comment.

  12. 12
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~

    Precious Melissa,

    I have a BIG REQUEST OF YOU!

    As a mother of 2 sons,
    (Dave and I wanted 4 children but had 2 preemies) and the doctor would not allow me to biologically have anymore children. Dave and I always prayed for 2 boys and 2 girls. We got 2 boys ~ now I would love to bless 2 little girls in Calcutta~India. I won’t be their mother, but can be a blessing to the family with loving gifts,prayers,etc.
    THIS IS MY REQUEST ~
    Would you find two little girls for my husband and I to sponsor?
    Two that totally touch your heart!!
    I would be forever greatful!
    With “Heaven Bound” blessings,
    Kim Safina
    please contact me via email
    KLSAFINA@aol.com
    http://www.kimsafinathejourneycontinues.blogspot.com

  13. 13
    Holly says:

    This is just too much for my heart to hold. So very rich in God’s love for people.

    Latangi is beautiful!

    Do you know? We have a couple in our church that works for Compassion (just 7 minutes from where I’m sitting right now). He left his high paying job as a chemist to help with AIDS/HIV research and mission work. His stories are so beautiful (and scary, too), as he tells of going into places that are not very safe.

    Also, he shares that his Compassion child (now an adult) that he sponsored since college heard about the Lord for many years through Scott. BUT, he wouldn’t believe. Not until Scott actually went and visited, THEN the young man said he believed that Jesus was his Savior. For he wanted to meet his sponsor and know that he was real.

    Praying for you and the team, Melissa.

  14. 14
    Yolanda says:

    Melissa, I was undone, went to Compassion and am so dad gum excited with a beautiful little girl from India. I can’t wait for the packet to come in the mail! Love, Yolanda

  15. 15
    lilsnflwr7 says:

    I sponsored my first child seven years ago. It was too hard to choose, so I put in my birthdate, female and age range. Only one child came up, so I knew this child was mine. It is humbling to get a letter from am eight year old telling you that she is praying for you! I send money for the family ever summer and she wrote how her family prays for prosperity for me, that they know they can faithfully depend on me. Getting letters from her are the highlight of my month. I recently adopted another in my daughter’s name, so she could come to appreciate things like I have ans see the world from a different view. I will say it has affected her and she has become less self-focused since getting letters from Africa from a child asking her about her wedding dress. I will sponsor Dioni until she is of age and then I’ll take on another. It has brought me great joy, for the price of a dinner out.
    Love in Christ
    Nancy

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you Melissa for showing me a little glimpse of what God is doing in a place that I have never gotten the opportunity to step foot in. God is totally in love with the people of India and has a mighty plan for their lives and what a wonder that He would open up the web to show all of us what He is doing. Today I needed to see what God is concerned with and I praise Him that He used you to show me His passionate love for the people of India. May His light burst forth through all His people.

    Praying for you,
    Sarah Rader
    Burlington, KY

  17. 17
    lori says:

    What a great post… I love the last picture, the girls are looking at you like you a rock star, and all it took to get that look was love..
    I think what you posted about the poor is right on.. And the poor have such a right thinking, because they are the first to see we need each other, when we are on the other side we tend to only see ourselves.. A rich man can live in more self pity than a poor man can fathom

    Ps I am going now to sponser a child now, and I am a single mom with two kids, I wait tables and am still trying to get back in college…so if I can do it we all can. thanks Melissa for the dose of real

  18. 18
    texatheart says:

    Amanda,
    Thanks for sharing your trip through the blog. I think Jack is absolutely right in his quote. When you are that poor and there seems to be no way to get your needs met, there is no one other than God to turn to. Shouldn’t it be easier for those of us that have our basic needs being met, to depend on him for our needs. I guess sometimes it takes us to hit bottom before we ever start looking up. My prayers are with you and all of us that you are touching by sharing your feelings and deep thoughts.
    Jan

  19. 19
    the4leegirls says:

    O.K. Melissa…I’m In. I have 4 daughters, so find me a son! I would love to sponsor a sweet litle boy….
    Humbly HIS,
    Allison
    P.S.For heavens sake… I am so thankful you did not throw up on Mother Teressa! You make me laugh girl!!!

  20. 20
    pcb says:

    Thank you for your post…I don’t have the gift of words but so appreciate one who does. Thank you for sharing your experiences and for working to make the connection between children and sponsors in such a concrete, personal way.

  21. 21
    Amanda May says:

    Hmmmm, I could spend all day meditating on God's love for the poor (very thought-provoking).

    Here are my initial thoughts on what is at the bottom of God's love for the poor…

    Their hearts are pure.

    They are humble.

    They can't use self-indulgence to mask their *real* need.

    They haven't become self-righteous.

    They haven't allowed "the things of this world" to put a relational wall between them and their Maker.

    We feel so sorry for them (and we should!), BUT they could/should feel equally as sorry for US…
    that we have SO MUCH that can get in the way of us seeing & knowing our DESPERATE need for a Savior!

  22. 22
    Amanda says:

    Melissa, before I could even finish reading this, Curt sent me a text from work and it said, “Sponsor that girl.” Yes, we are in! I’m emailing you right now.

  23. 23
    Melissa says:

    Kim, you are so sweet to want to sponsor two girls. I actually can’t pick out two for you. I only did it for Amanda because she is my sister and she has been co-partnering with me on this project. If you click on the banner to the left of our blog it takes you straight to the Compassion India page where you will be able to view hundreds of kids that desperately need sponsors. Much love to you.

  24. 24
    Kim... and Her Coffee says:

    Melissa, thank you for sharing this journey with us. I (like some of the other comments) and convicted of how rich we are and how much that interrupts our reliance on God. And, how pure the poor are in their openess to Him. What a responsibility we have to these beautiful people… we have no earthly idea what it must be like to live in those situations. Thank you for awakening us to this truth and to our ability to love on these folks through our generosity of that which is not even truly ours, but the Lord’s. Praying for you all….

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Wow. Melissa, thank you so much for your obedience in going to India. I can imagine it is exhausting and thrilling at the same time.
    My husband will be out of a job next month and it has really shaken us up. Helped us to refocus on the Lord. We are being refined and leaning on the Lord more than ever. I know that I will never be poor like the people there, but I want more than anything the JOY and security that comes from God alone.
    Thanks for shaking me out of my self-centered, subburban life!
    Jenny from VA

  26. 26
    boomama says:

    Girl.

    That will PREACH.

    And can Keely rock a head scarf or what?

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    I think poverty, grief, sorrow, and pain, go to a place so deep in our spirits that when it is touched by God’s love the effect cannot be denied, the balm over us so dear and poignant that it cannot be ignored or forgotten. Like your dear mother I am a person of bondage set free, and often thought of as fanatic in my faith, but I answer, were your captivity so great, and your hopelessness so complete you too would hang on with abandon to the God who set you free. This adventure dear girl, is the cure for a life of relative comfort and ease, you are precious and I have tears in my eyes as I realize the deep and eternal things being worked into your spirit today.( wish with all my heart I were there), May your words bring many sponsers to these children and may your heart and soul expand with this amazing and important work, so humble and close to the Father’s heart. When God came in the flesh it was the poor that he choose to identify with. Shalom

  28. 28
    Christine says:

    Let’s just say that your talent with the words is patently evident. What you’ve been writing has been so powerful and so impacting. Just your ability to express what is seemingly inexpressible is remarkable. Thank you for allowing your heart to be broken for God and to then be brave enough to share it.

    I think you’re sitting in the middle of it when you say that God favors the poor because they have so much need for God and His grace and mercy. By having a heart for the poor not only do we enable ourselves to in some small way be a conduit of that mercy but to receive it ourselves in a way that is perhaps more unmistakeable than it is in our own lives. In our lives of privilege it’s easy to think that much of our own power can carry us through day to day. Not necessarily carry us well, but that’s the image we like to project. The desperate can’t waste time on pretense and hope to survive.
    Praying for you all daily… blessings on you all.

  29. 29
    Rachel says:

    Caveat: of course this is a generalization, and generalizations by nature oversimplify, but I believe that we who are “rich” live farther from the truth than the “poor” do. The truth is that we all are destitute, utterly and completely without hope or health when we remain mired in our innate alienation from the One Who Is Life. We who are rich often use our resources not for reconciliation to the One Who Is Life but for hiding from and insulating ourselves from Him. We use our wealth to mask our need of Him. The poor do not have the dubious luxury of that particular palliative. Their struggles are different, but in the matter of knowing the true condition of humanity, they are often light years ahead of the wealthy.

  30. 30
    Inksstillwet says:

    I think the poor have such a great desire for God because they don’t try to fill voids with material possessions. They rely on one another for emotional stability and support and just like that little boy, want to help their families rest, succeed and prosper. And not in the way our society defines those things. Thank you Melissa, for sharing your journey in India with all of us! I pray our hearts are opened to receive what we hear and see also.

  31. 31
    AKat says:

    You are in my prayers, Melissa!

  32. 32
    Miranda says:

    What a humbling experience. To think that when we get hot… we can go in our nice A/C homes and cars…. we complain when our makeup sweat off… but they just want shoes to wear.

    Wow, I’ve got to do a mission trip. God gives grace to the humble and strength to the weak. Bless His Holy Name.

  33. 33
    3girlsmom says:

    I was about 2 secs from posting a comment that said, "If Amanda doesn't, then I will!" Then I saw Amanda's comment! So proud for the newest "member" of the Jones family! That precious child took my heart. I can't imagine your emotions after being up close & personal to her.

    Find me another one. K?

    Robyn

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa,

    I think in terms of both salvation and our relationship with Christ desperation can be a gift. Being poor (and desperate) pulls out all the false props we so foolishly rely on. In addition, poor people are often real. They don’t wear masks and put up a good front. They acknowledge they are desperate and I believe God loves the authenticity. The truth is, the richest man in the world is desperate as well. He just might not know or admit it. I am praying for you daily.

    In Him,

    Susan
    Nashville, TN

  35. 35
    aguhmom says:

    Ohhhhh-God’s timing is so right on!
    I am studying for Wednesday night class page 89 of “Stepping Up” –
    and Beth talks specifically about
    the Feast of Weeks being a time for great generosity – free will
    giving – oh I could go on. It ties
    so in with your post Melissa about
    Compassion, the children, our God –
    well, i have to tell you I now have a 4 year old child named “Mercy” – in Kenya, in an aids infested area. The depth of grace given to me has manifsted itself in a baby child named Mercy.

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa – I am praying for you! May God continue to give you a glimpse of His great love for the people of India. We sponsor a girl in Peru – one of my daughters longs to go to Peru as a missionary one day – our God is BIG and I am in awe of His Mighty Power! May you treasure all of these things in your heart always!
    Mary Ann
    Wichita Falls

  37. 37
    valerie says:

    Again…tears are dripping down my cheeks. I’m home for lunch and need to reapply my makeup and get back to work.
    I love the last picture. I love how the girls are looking at you.
    So very touching, Melissa! Thank you for sharing from your tender heart.
    Love,
    Valerie

  38. 38
    Evangelism Chick says:

    LOVE THE PICTURES!!!

    Just posted to the first post.

    Praying YOU up,

    Susan

  39. 39
    Gena says:

    Awesome post. I’ve been thinking about sponsoring a child through Compassion, and you certainly making that decision a no-brainer.

    And love how you worked in the “24” reference.

  40. 40
    Sam McClure says:

    Thank you, Melissa. Wow. We are praying for you and your team. I know that the Lord is using you as you are there! I want those kids under my roof!

  41. 41
    Dee says:

    The Lord first used Isaiah 58 in my life a few years ago. I knew what God specifically spoke to my heart through these verses. He wanted me to fast for the poor, and to share my bread with the poor. He placed on my heart two worthy ministries to become part of. And I sponsor a precious little girl in Bolivia through Compassion, but I feel as though I could burst into tears. It blows my mind to think of so many desperate children. Though my sponsored little one is in S.A., I feel as though you represent all of us. Thank you for going. It has to be heartwarming and heartbreaking. I’m praying for you and your team.
    With love, Deidra

  42. 42
    Rachel says:

    Yea! I am so glad God is moving your heart for the poor of India. God has made my heart melt for them, especially the children. You just can’t help but fall in love with their beautiful faces. And yes, God shamelessly loves the poor.

    I am a nurse and when I came home from my trip to Delhi this past Feb, my workmates just didn’t get the concept of my trip to India. They expected me to have done some medical work, and when I would simply reply, “Nope, I just went to love on some children,” they wouldn’t know how to respond. The body of Christ gets it, but the world may never understand the importance of your hugs, smiles, and love you are showering on these children. They will never forget you!
    PS Your hair looks way better then mine did. I wore a hat the entire trip becuase I was afraid the outlets would blow up my blow dryer!

  43. 43
    screamofcontinuousness says:

    Melissa,

    I don’t know why.
    But I think it has to do with us all acknowledging our utter dependence on the goodness of God to get us through everything.

    Angie can confirm this for you, we, in our distracted, over filled lives are never so close to God as when all that is stripped away and we are bare before God. Humbled by need. Whether financial, physical, emotional, whatever. When we NEED God, is when we are most blessed by a sense of His presence.
    Is that because He is suddenly closer? no. It is because We are more available. More receptive.

    We love you so much Melissa and we are praying for you and the whole team.

  44. 44
    Rachel says:

    Melissa!

    I think God has such a heart for the poor because….

    We all have so little to offer him without what He gives us through His grace, yet we have a world of things to cover and hide ourselves in. to make excuses and keep ourselves busy with. We think we’re sacrificing, by getting designer shoes on sale or having to eat mac and cheese for dinner cause we’re low on groceries. The poor and destitute would most likely shout praises and savor each bite! Poor us that we have a busy week of work or carting children around to a million different activities- yet here we are, with cars to do it and heated homes to return to with our own beds to crash on after a full day. And we just think it’s so hard sometimes. But I can only imagine what His heart must feel like to look upon a people, a child who has NOTHING, who as a 4 year old stays at home ALL day alone that so many people go through each day not giving a thought to, let alone doing something about it. His heart must just melt for them and want for them to know how much they are Loved.

    I am so guilty. A thought is just a thought unless you do something about it.

  45. 45
    Marilyn in Mississippi says:

    What beautiful Indian children! What a beautiful American woman that has traveled many miles to meet them! Thank you Melissa for taking some of your precious time needed for resting and sending the post and pictures! It really brings it home to me!

    My thoughts on why God uplifts the poor: I think that usually the more money and possessions we have, the farther we get from poverty, the more we rely on ourselves rather than on God. Many rich people feel they don’t “need” anything or anybody….and that they especially don’t need God. On the other hand, the truly poor recognize that they have Nothing except for what God provides for them through different ways and means and people. It is then easy for them to see they have “needs” and for them to realize that Christ wants to meet their needs….physical and spiritual. I think God wants us to admit that we totally need Him for everything.

    I pray that I may seek ways to better help the poor that I come in contact with.

    May God bless you Melissa for being a “doer of the Word and not a hearer only”.

    Marilyn

    P.S. Still praying you won’t come down with a migraine. I used to have them and know how they can totally incapacitate you!

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    Amazing! Keep up the great work Melissa. To God be the GLORY!

  47. 47
    Jina says:

    Praying for headache free time in India Melissa!

    Thank you for sharing these moving thoughts and pictures. God has so much to refine in us. I am reminded about how similar we are to the Israelites. Our intentions are good, but like in James we forget who we are in some areas when we walk away from the mirror.

    How do we make the memories stay etched in our hearts with the same impact forever?

    Have a wonderful time! Kiss a few extra kids for me!

    Love to you,
    Jina

  48. 48
    Mandy, Tallahassee says:

    Melissa,
    Your work in India is going to have a powerful effect this through blog- I have no doubt. You have moved me! God’s timing is so amazing- just a few weeks ago was the first time I ever heard of Compassion International on a web banner of biblegateway. I was curious, and wanted to know more. All the sudden I see Travis Cottrell’s blog where he’s visiting his sponsored children and now you sharing the intimate details of how wonderful this organization is- I am convinced! And convicted! And signing up to sponsor two TODAY. Thank you for being our eyes and ears to hear what God is telling us about helping those in need!

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    Briget says:

    Keep up the great work Melissa! To God be the GLORY!!

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    The Ploof Family says:

    Wow, keep telling us more! It’s so awesome to hear you journey through this amazing chapter in your life. I totally get what your saying about us living in a world of riches and not really seeing the poor. I know it seems wrong in the world’s view, but the poor being blessed is true. The poor literally live out Matthew 6:25-34. Anyway, the posts on here are great, and the question was very thought provoking! You have a way with words. Thanks for allowing God to speak through you to us!
    Amber

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