Monday, March 31, 2014

Salt and Green Beans

Heads bowed, a prayer said, and time to eat. . .salt.

Some coworkers shared a story with us several months ago, their story. No different than us they are living away from home, away from family and friends, in a difficult environment hoping to share the truth with their neighbors. They work hard each day learning the local language and getting to know the people around them. They are serving God as missionaries.

Different from us, they grew up in this country. They have darker skin and a different culture. The national language is their heart language.

These coworkers of ours have had to sit down to their table for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner with only salt on the table. The head of the house still prayerfully humbles himself before our great God, thanking Him for what He has provided.

And my heart hurts.

Today, another coworker shared their story from the past month. No money for food and God's provision. Green beans. They ate green beans all month.

And my heart hurts.

How do we help these people who we are so close to? How can God use us in their lives? How can we help without hurting our friendship, without "replacing" God, without cutting someone's pride?

These are all questions (plus many more) that we are wrestling through. How can we be an active part of the body of Christ to our friends here? It's easy to think about giving them money. But money is not always the answer.

Pray for us as we try to find ways to help. Pray we would have wisdom as we make decisions each day. Pray for our coworkers. Pray they would be able to fully rest in God's provision, that they would completely trust Him for their every need (us too!). Pray for wisdom. Pray for the local churches, that they would see the need to be senders, financially as well as spiritually.

If you are interested in learning more about how to financially help cross-culturally, I (Kaylee) would recommend the book, When Helping Hurts. It really helped me think through all of the issues tied into helping in a poverty stricken country.

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