A few weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about an organization I had just heard about on the radio called Charasia. God has really put it on my heart to get involved with them at whatever level I can. I've been listening to various webcasts and interviews with their president, Ralph Borde. Charasia has several different components: a Bible institute, evangelism, and orphan care. What has really been on my heart is the orphan care. Charasia has two children's homes: Grace and Faith, and has just launched a new project called "Sparrow's Nest," which will be a large children's campus.
The children in these homes have been rescued from India's brothel district--the youngest child in the home is 18 months. Little girls as young as 6 are used as prostitutes in the (horrifically) mistaken belief that virgins can cure AIDS. The children's mothers are also prostitutes--these little ones sleep on the floor underneath the beds where their enslaved mothers conduct business for the brothel owners.
The Charasia site has a prayer calendar that I look at every day. I love it because each day has a picture of a little girl, what her needs are, what her career goal is, and her favorite Bible verse. I pray for each girl throughout the day, then at night Lucy and I pray for her together.
I've been thinking lately about contentment. Everywhere around us we hear the dire financial condition we all seem to be in. Each day I hear a different figure for gas prices; the last one I heard was that it will eventually go up to $6.00/gallon. I read a blog post yesterday called "It's Not Good Enough" by Ingrid Schlueter. Basically it's about how we here in the U.S. have grown accustomed to luxury, and nothing is ever enough for us. Here's a quote: "On one episode of a program on [HGTV], a couple found their home but they informed the host of the show that the first thing they were going to do was rip out the kitchen and start over. The beautiful kitchen had just been redone two years before with white cabinets with glass fronts that must have cost a fortune. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Gotta tear it out and start over. We need 'high end' appliances. Never mind the sheer waste of it all. We can’t eat out of a fridge that’s not stainless steel. Never mind that they didn’t even make these for homes just a few years ago. They’re a must have item now at twice the cost of a normal refrigerator. If you can afford stainless steel, fine. That isn’t my point. It’s that the media and advertisers want us to feel that we are somehow lesser mortals if our homes don’t look like a magazine photo shoot."
I agree that media and advertisers are somewhat to blame in all this. But really...it is in our own hearts right from the beginning. Yesterday a neighbor and I met up and took all of our kids to the park. Unfortunately, we'd been there about 30 seconds when it started to rain and we had to go home. By the time we got to our driveway, Lucy was pouting. I said to her, "Someone here is happy. Who is it?" She turned and looked at Elaine who had a big smile on her face. "Elaine," she said grumpily. "And who had to sit strapped in the stroller the whole way?" I asked. "Who didn't get to run along the sidewalk with her friends? Who got to go down the slide only two times before going home? Who didn't get to watch 'Mary Poppins' this afternoon and had to take a nap instead? See, Elaine is just happy with what she has. She got to be outside, she got to see other children, she got to play a bit. You need to be thankful for all the things you did get to do, rather than what you didn't." (It's so rare that Elaine is the better-behaving one, I've really got to shine on it when it happens.)
I need to preach this to myself too. Too often I think my wants are actually needs. I think I have to have something; then a few weeks after getting it I've already begun taking it for granted. Too often I've bought into the lie that more is less so I need some more.
This morning I looked up which little girl we would be praying for today in India. Her name is Jessina. If you get a chance, consider praying for her today too. She would like to be a nurse when she grows up. Wouldn't that be wonderful? The request for prayer for her is that she find continued contentment in God. And get this, here's her favorite verse: Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" That this little girl in such circumstances could cling to this is so humbling to me.
So, that's what I'll be praying today--for Jessina, for Lucy and Elaine, and for me too!