Friday, November 13, 2009

Are there really people like that here?

Ever since I read Growing Up Empty over a year ago, its contents have haunted me.

I grew up as the daughter of immigrants who came to Canada following WWII after being displaced from their homeland by war. I always felt the pinch of my father’s slim salary, but I never went hungry. Still, I grew up with stories of my own parents’ times of hunger – of drinking the water that the potatoes were cooked in, of wanting a stick of gum that the soldiers had so as to have something to chew, of surviving on bread alone.

But I never dreamt that there we such people in America.

Like the author, who adopted and fed an elderly woman, I’ve wanted to adopt and help feed some family. But where do you start? How do you find the hungry? I can’t just go into the inner city and knock on doors – can I?

For over a year, I’ve wanted to help and get the kids involved in aiding this city’s destitute, but I didn’t know where to start. But last Saturday, I made my first step: I took a tour, organized by a local aid organization, of several churches and other charities helping the poor. They feed and clothe and take children off the streets after school to keep them away from drugs and danger. They rehabilitate the drug addicts and teach job skills to the uneducated. They have a heart for the poor. And among those working with the inner city children is a former coworker, an engineer who retired and now works even harder, but at something that God called her to do.

I felt energized after that tour. At last, I took a baby step towards volunteering. Signing up for the Dallas mission trip was another step. A third step was giving Alexandra Growing Up Empty as a reading assignment.

“Are there really people like that here?” she asked me after reading the first chapter. “Can’t we find them and help? The Bible says to invite in and feed those who can never repay you, like the homeless. Can’t we do that?”

“That’s why I went on that tour last Saturday,” I told her. “I want to find out how to help. We can’t just drive around and pick up a homeless man and take him home, but maybe through one of these organizations, we can befriend someone. Then we can bring them home – or bring them food to their home.”

“Like we brought dinner to grandma last week?” she asked. The girls had cooked corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, and we’d brought that over and eaten with her.

“Yes, just like that.”

Isn’t homeschooling wonderful? I gave Alexandra a book that touched my heart, and now it touched hers. I get to mold her heart the way that I want – the way I feel God calling me to do.

And God willing, we will find someone to help. I know that they’re out there.

1 comment:

AF Wife99 said...

What an inspiring post. That is a great idea, and I pray that the opportunity to help a fellow human being will present itself soon.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)