Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Experience God

Peter and Haley Mrazik serve in Romania at an orphanage called the Father’s House Children’s Home. Recently Peter found an eleven-year-old girl gently rummaging through their garbage cans in search of food. Here's how Peter described it,

She was dirty, here nose was running and she looked terribly cold.

The girl seemed startled that I had appeared, worried that she would be chased away. I tried to reassure that everything was okay and began speaking to her. She said that her name was Elena and she was looking for food. I had to pry to find out more - she still seemed very afraid. She went on to tell me that she had six brothers and sisters. When I asked about her parents, she shared that her mother had abandoned the family some time ago and her father was also out looking for food like she was. I saw a half rotten potato that she had pulled from one of our garbage bags laying on the decrepit baby stroller she was pushing around to carry what she found. At that point I had to turn away to hide my tears from her … it has been almost 16 working here in Romania … but it still gets me when I see children like this…

Recently Haley and I have been reading a book by Erwin McManus. He writes, “So many of us have put our hope in teaching our children about God rather than guiding them into an experience with God … I am concerned that there are many who have grown up in church and have been effectively Christianized but have never genuinely met Christ.”

Peter went inside and shared the story with his son and daughter, aged 8 & 12 respectively. He then asked them one simple question: "What do you feel God is telling you?"

They shared so much, piggy banks were emptied and Peter's son headed out with Elena to buy the biggest loaf of bread they could find for her. This is how Peter's children described it in their own words,

From K (boy, age 8):
This morning I went with a poor girl to buy a loaf of bread for her. She looked so very poor and probably was sick. I saw some rotten food she had got out of the garbage and felt sad. When the girl got the loaf of bread and change she was so happy. Just to see how cold she was am so thankful we have heat to the Lord.

From L (girl, age 12)
This morning there was a young girl about my age. She was looking for food in our garbage. K and I gave her some bread and money. God cares for everyone. He cares for the poor too. I learned to be thankful. The young girl was poor and she was cold and sad.

Peter continues on, "this story is still unfolding, L invited Elena to a little Christian girls club she attends Mondays – Elena came this past Monday with her sister to L's delight. The two children are praying for her daily and understand that more than just reading the Bible, they now have a role to play in God’s story about a young girl named Elena happening right around them…

Children's Aid International Relief and Development

We can learn a lot from Peter's quick spirit-filled response of inviting the children to listen to what God is saying to them. Be on the lookout wherever you go with Jesus' eyes of compassion. Then simply do what He asks of you.

Isaiah 26:8
LORD, we love to obey your laws; our heart's desire is to glorify your name.


Anonymous Gary said...

To Live Isaiah 58, as Peter is doing, is an awesome thing. I wonder why it is so hard for me to do the same thing here in Canada?

10:25 PM  

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