Thursday, March 10, 2011

light the streets

Light the Streets from Africa New Life Ministries on Vimeo.

today africa new life is launching their street kids fundraising campaign: LIGHT THE STREETS. anlm currently feeds thousands of homeless boys twice a week, but they (we) must do more. the day i spent with these boys literally changed my life and the view i have of myself, my surroundings, and most definitely my God. it put everything into perspective regarding "to whom much is given, much is required."

athanase, the boy speaking on the video, spent quite a bit of time with our group while we were in rwanda. as we began to hear his story and listen to him speak of who he was before, i honestly had a hard time believing he was telling the truth. this boy who was feared by all the other boys and had grown up living in a dump, selling drugs and instilling hate in all those around him... he was now FULL of love- never stopped smiling or laughing- and did you hear what he said? my only hope was God, who changed my life.

that is how God uses ANLM. yes, they provide food for these boys, but along with that, there are Godly men and women specifically placed in this ministry to love on them, to know their name.

my day with the street kids blew me away the entire time i was there. from the minute i walked up to the field and was bombarded with hugs and smiles and soccer balls and singing and twelve hands at a time grasping for mine, i
don't think my eyes were ever not rimmed with tears. just a few hours before we had driven our air conditioned van through the dump... their home... the place they find food and shelter. we couldn't stand the smell for the five minutes we were there, so we rolled all the windows up and drove the rest of the time in silence. now the boys were surrounding me and i was unsure of how to help because their needs were so great and the most astonishing thing was that all they wanted in that moment was to be touched. because no one else does or ever has. it amazed me how most had not eaten in days, yet they patiently stood in long lines, waiting for their portion of food. and once they had their plate, not one of them looked at the one before them and complained about the size of their serving. they were just so happy and grateful for what they were given. and it wasn't like they just showed up for the meal... they had come hours before to play, sing praise songs, dance around, listen to rogers tell them a short bible message, wash up... it was like being able to eat was the last thing on their minds.

the other day i heard a pastor speak about how God's commands are laid out crystal clear for us. our task is to pray for His direction as to how to demonstrate our obedience to them in our lives. religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans in their distress... -james 1:27

visit, buy a greeting card or two, and get in on the action of what God is doing in and through these precious rwandan street kids. may He continue to be our only hope and change our very lives.

(the little boy who i latched onto that day and will never forget.)


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