By Barbara Rainey
First posted on EverThineHome.com
Thomas Bernardo was small in stature—he stood a mere five feet and three inches—but he towered with commitment to share the love of Christ with the street children of London.
Thomas was motivated by the truth of Scriptures like John 21:17, which calls us to “Feed my sheep,” and Matthew 25:40, where Christ says, “… as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” He began homes and schools for children, putting a sign on the door: “No destitute child ever refused admittance.”
As he cared for these little ones, he also started a church to reach the adults with the truth of Christ. Next he went to medical school so he could address the health problems of the children. His wife, a nurse, formed a nursing organization to care for the sick and poor.
As a result of Thomas’ ministry—along with the efforts of many other men and women—the plight of the homeless children in England was reversed. But today a similar crisis has fallen on other countries like China, El Salvador, Guatemala, and throughout the continent of Africa. The most recent statistics estimate more than 150 million orphans worldwide! Once again the world needs people who will believe God and will take action to rescue the children.
Meet Katie Davis Majors, a nice middle-class American girl. At the age of 18 she went on a mission trip to the country of Uganda in central Africa. There she fell in love with the people of Uganda, especially the children.
The next year she returned to teach kindergarten for a year. As she walked some of her students home, she was surprised to see children along the road. She wondered why they weren’t in school. As she began to investigate she learned that schools in Uganda, though government sponsored, still charged tuition. And most families in Uganda were too poor to afford schooling for their children.
Katie took action. By raising money from friends, she was able to place more than 40 children that year in school at $300 per year per child. (And hundreds more since then.) This modest amount of money paid for tuition, books, meals, medical care, and spiritual training.
Katie saw more needs and kept finding ways to meet them. She began a nonprofit organization called Amazima Ministries, which seeks to meet the needs of the poor in Uganda. (Amazima means truth in the Ugandan language.)
Then she adopted three little girls. Katie wasn’t hindered by being single or by being young. Instead she was moved by the needs of these orphan girls, and she knew she could love them.
Remarkably, Katie’s ministry has continued to do even more—initiating a feeding program for children, offering measles and polio immunizations, building a nurse’s clinic, starting a new school, and much more. She adopted 13 girls by the time she was 23, and since marrying her husband, Benji, she has added two biological children.
Katie says, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me, ‘Good job.’ Well, here is the truth of it: I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Christ. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.” It is God who has made Katie brave and strong and who has supplied all her needs as she cares for so many.
In her blog and in her best-selling book, Kisses From Katie, Katie writes about the glorious journey she is taking with God. One month she wrote:
We sit in the dirt, not worried about the red stains, and serve 400 plates of food to sponsored children on Saturday. I look into these faces and remember them nearly 4 years ago, destitute and hopeless and starving. Afraid of my funny white skin. We feed them lunch and we feed them God’s Word and we watch them transform.
Our family sits on the street corner downtown sharing ice cream and laughter. My daughter bends low to offer a homeless man her popsicle and as he cries that no one cares about him she looks straight into his face. “We will be your family,” she asserts, and she means it. We kneel on the pavement and we pray and people stop to look but we hardly notice because we were made for this.
Orphans are not just found in Africa, but all over the world. In America most orphaned children are in our foster-care system. Most of them have their basics needs met but they still are orphans, alone without a family to which they belong.
When we see the truth, really see it, we are compelled to act as Jesus did. 1 John 3:17 tells us, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” We are truly His followers if we do what He did.
Questions about truth
In what specific ways can your family help the orphans in your town?
Are you willing to go wherever God calls you? What do you sense God calling you to do that you may be resisting?
How would you respond if your son or daughter chose to move to a foreign country to care for orphans?
Truth in action
Go to Amazina.org to read more about Katie Davis Majors and the ministry she began. As a family, consider sponsoring one of the Ugandan children needing help. Or talk to your friends or church about sponsoring a child (or children).
Praying together for truth
Lord, there is greater joy, no deeper satisfaction, than to be fulfilling the purpose for which You made me. You are the Master, the Creator! To be about Your business … to be changing lives with Your love … is to display Your wonders to a broken world. May Your light shine, O Lord, through me today. Amen.
My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women (NEW from Barbara Rainey)
As we search for meaning in our world of shallow online relationships and glamorized selfies, many are returning to traditional and liturgical churches. The repeated words, benedictions, and historic hymns connect us to saints who have gone before, giving us a sense of belonging, richness, and transcendence. Written prayers, once cast off as archaic, are now welcomed as guides to tune our hearts to the heart of God.
In My Heart, Ever His Barbara Rainey shares 40 prayers for women. Readers can read and meditate on one prayer throughout the week or read a prayer a day for 40 days as a way to express the longing of our hearts to our Father who loves us even as he sees who we truly are. Like the psalms of David, these prayers are honest, sometimes raw. Barbara uses these transparent expressions of common female experiences to encourage us to surrender to Christ and help us see God as he is, not as we assume him to be. My Heart, Ever His provides a stepping-stone to help you become more transparent with God and discover his welcoming embrace.
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