Living in the States, it’s easy to forget about the poor. But even if you live in or drive by an area where poverty is evident, it’s easier to pretend it doesn’t exist. Great need can make you feel overwhelmed and cause you to think there’s nothing you can do to help.
I’m in Honduras, right now, with a missions team from our church. The team has traveled around this beautiful country sharing God’s love and message with the community and visiting our sister La Vina churches.
Looking out the window from our traveling bus, I’m amazed at the contrast between the lush scenery and the stark poverty. I’m moved and amazed by God’s creation. At the same time, I feel overwhelmed by the tremendous need I see. I wonder if there’s anything I could do to help and even second-guess our team’s efforts to make a difference.
Was that the way the disciples felt, I wonder, when they saw the hungry multitudes that followed Jesus to hear His teachings?
“You feed them,” He told them.
“But, Lord,” they answered perplexed, “all we have are a few fish and a couple loaves of bread. How could we ever feed these thousands? The little we have just isn’t enough.”
Then Jesus showed them – and His followers from then on – that He can use our small contribution and multiply it to become a blessing to many.
At every city we visit, our team has given out items we brought that were donated to us – candy, clothes, small toys, etc. They might not seem like much, but our recipients’ reactions make us feel like we’re rich and lucky and some kind of heroes. It’s an incomparable feeling one can easily get hooked on. It’s the same feeling I experience every time I participate in one of our church’s outreaches for the poor or when I’m able to give to someone in need.
But I do it for more than just the feeling. I give because I understand the big difference my little giving makes. Like my friend DaNetta says, “One might not be able to change the world, but one can make the world of a difference for someone.”
And knowing that sure makes my heart glad.