I’m not one to share much but today I had a very different experience than normal……
During my Bible study class, while I was lecturing, a gentleman saw the door open and came in and sat down. As he entered the room the people who were participating in my class began to complain of the bad smell that this man was emitting. I continued the class normally and had a good time teaching as we talked about Moses. After the class ended, I sat next to the man and started talking to him. I discovered that he was homeless and was looking for shelter due to the very rainy weather. I also understood that it was difficult for him to sleep the night before because of the heavy rain and there was no place to take cover. I shared Christ’s love with him and began to talk about his life. Since we do not have a shower in the church where we gather in São Paulo in the favela (slum), I heated water on the stove and prepared two buckets of hot water so he could take a good shower, got some soap and other toiletries and some clothes that one of the volunteers here at the association had donated. He gladly bathed and, after the shower, he came to have lunch with us and slept for probably an hour. The saddest part was that I did not have a place to put him or leave him, I could only help him with money for bus fare as he planned to return to the neighborhood from which he came.
It’s a bit tricky when you feel limited, but it was very gratifying to be able to be part of at least four hours of his life where he could hear the word of God, see people who love Christ, take a warm shower, sleep in a warm place and eat well.
After this encounter I went out to see some families that I visit frequently. On the way to one of the houses, before arriving at my destination, I met up with two boys, one about 8 years old and the other about 10 years old. They were home alone without food because their mother had left to work. Before leaving to make these visits, I had placed some food in my backpack not knowing for what reason but had taken them and some marmita’s (a cooked meal packed up in a disposable container) without any specific purpose. At that time, I realized that those boys could have something to eat…..because they were hungry. More importantly they could see someone who truly loves Jesus Christ and who could speak of a love of God to them and tell them how much they are not alone because no matter the distance, the depth, or height where they are God can always be there for them.
I ask for your prayers for the homeless man, Gilberto, and for the two children Zacchaeus and Elijah.
Anderson (one of A.M.O’s missionaries)
Pete and Jodi