October 26, 2009
Forgotten No More
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…" Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)
My mind was suddenly four thousand miles from the quaint outdoor café I sat in. I laid the book on the table and visualized the garbage-strewn streets of Quito, where the poorest of the poor struggle to survive. The title of the devotional entry in Daily Prayers from the NIV was "Ecuador's Forgotten Ones" and it painted this picture of a place I'd been two years earlier:
You see them on the well-worn, two-foot wide median that divides the city's busiest street. Vehicles zip past at alarming speeds while preschoolers play tag, oblivious to the danger. But when the traffic halts, these little ones press their dirty faces against closed car windows, begging for pennies. At night older children join them and spit gasoline into the air, lit by matches into flaming, dragon-like plumes, hoping for a coin from a passing motorist. These are Ecuador's forgotten ones: slum-dwelling children with no hope for a future.
Tears filled my eyes. I couldn't shake the thought of the damage that gasoline was doing to their young bodies and minds. Yet I knew their feeling of hopelessness was even more damaging. These kids must feel as if they have no help, no anchor, and no future. I silently pleaded with God to send help and hope to these fire-breathing forgotten ones. For I know God has not forgotten them. He sees them.
My mind drifted to the reason this entry caught my eye: Mauricio. My husband and I sponsor him through Compassion International. A few years ago, I traveled with the Compassion organization to Ecuador to see the children impacted by poverty, and meet Mauricio. Another team from P31 Ministries leaves for Ecuador today with Compassion International.
Ecuador's economic structure suffers. Several years ago their government abruptly switched the money system to the US dollar. Overnight everyone's bank accounts were frozen. Many people were unable to access their money for months … others never got their money at all as many banks folded. Even those too poor to have bank accounts suffered due to inflation near 300%.
Multiple government leaders have taken office, made drastic or selfish changes, and then defected the country - leaving the Ecuadorian people forgotten. But God has not forgotten them, and He doesn't want us to forget them either. Someone has to pray for them, someone has to help them, and someone has to hand them the anchor of hope. Someone has to declare to them the words of the author of Hebrews: "We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation" (6:9, NLT).
Just as God has not forgotten the Ecuadorian people, He has not forgotten you. Are you in need of an eternal anchor today? Are you suffering financial hardship? Is your soul adrift in the traffic of life? If so, click here to meet your Hope.
Are you able to be God's hands of hope to Ecuador's forgotten ones? If your heart is quickened to help a child from Ecuador or elsewhere, don't ignore that impulse and forget it. Do something about it today. Hebrews 6:10 assures us, "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them" (NIV).
You can demonstrate to one child that he is forgotten no more.
Dear Lord, my heart aches for Your people facing poverty, injustice, and infirmity in this world. Help them, Lord. Be their anchor and hope. And help me as Your servant to know how to help them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Wes Stafford
Visit Rachel's blog - My Life in Chapter and Verse
P31 Ministries' Compassion blog - For the Least of These
Pray for the children of Ecuador today. Pray for their salvation, their health, their economy, and their leaders.
Pray for God to send workers to support and help children in poverty - and pray for the P31 Ministries' team leaving today to love on the underprivileged children in Ecuador.
Consider how you can get involved.
Imagine what daily life feels like for one of these children.
Read Matthew 25:34-40 below and reflect.
Matthew 25:34-40, "Then the King will say to those on the right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?' And the King will say, 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" (NLT)
© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 26 October 2009.