The following story is written by a national partner in South Asia.
One evening I was at a local marketplace. A woman came up to me and said, “I am hungry please help me.” I opened my wallet and gave her a note of currency. She said, “I don’t want money, I want food.”
I was struck by these strange words because people typically beg for money at the market.
I stopped to talk more with her and she shared her story. She is from a small village and has nothing. In the summer, she comes to our city to find work to feed herself, but this year she did not find work.
The heat of the summer had taken a toll on her and she felt close to death … and she wasn’t alone. Many people in similar situations as her, take shelter wherever it is available, namely bus and railway stations.
My mind flashed back to memories of city workers clearing dead bodies from the places she just mentioned. It was sobering to realize they were left to beg and die alone. I personally know the pain of hunger and remember days of fasting where I wanted to look for a piece of bread.
Two children asking for food interrupted my thoughts.
I went home for the day but was restless all night. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Give food to these poor people.” I pushed back asking, “Can I?” The Holy Spirit quickly responded, “Yes, and you only.”
For days I neglected this divine nudging because the need seemed too great. The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me again, “Feed the hungry. It’s your responsibility.”
I finally obeyed and called my team members. They were happy to extend love to the poor in this way. Together we prayed for resources and started working with the little that we had.
We prepared boxes of rice, curd, chillies and masala and headed out to bus and railway stations to care for the needs of the poor and hungry. It is in this work that we are meeting people in our country with compassion like Jesus.
Please pray that this good work continues and that spiritual fruit is born from our service.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me … Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:34-36, 40