Are You The Answer? by Travis Sharpe

Early Saturday morning the Unsheltered International Philippines staff and the members of Crossroad Community Baptist Church headed out to the crowded downtown market to buy chicken, noodles, rice and a few other key ingredients. Long before 7 am, they were back at the church and several large pots of of macaronni soup were simmering out back over the propane burner that sat on the black dirt.

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By 8:00 am everyone was gathered in the modest Asian church sanctuary for final instructions and a time of prayer. By 8:30, several teams of two and three were scattered in multiple directions carrying the pots of simmering soup as they went.

Where were we going? To the many poor villages to serve meals and teach the Bible to the hungry children who were anxiously waiting. These meal centers that our staff and the church operate each and every weekend, are a vital link between the villagers and the church. (Read more about the meal centers here.)

Busay

This Saturday I tagged along and visited two of the meal centers that are fairly close to the church. The first one is in a place called Busay. This is a very small rural village that is behind a school. You have to park your vehicle and walk down a rocky, muddy dirt trail for a couple hundred yards to reach it.

This meal center is held in the front yard of the home of Michael and Eminem. That’s a story in and of itself and you can read more here if you want to.

San Esteban

It took about an hour to sing, teach a Bible lesson, serve the meal and visit. When we were done at Busay we traveled a couple of miles down the road to another, much larger village called San Esteban.

In this community there are several narrow, rocky dirt roads that are barely wide enough for the church van to navigate. I cautiously crept through the makeshift streets until we came to our meeting place. The children quickly gathered together bringing their cups and bowls along with them in anticipation of the hot mean that would follow the Bible study.

After the songs and lesson, it was time to ask the blessing before the meal. The teenage girls from the church who volunteer in this meal center every week called the children to prayer.

I know I should have had my eyes closed, but I opened one eye as they were praying and scanned the crowd of 13 children who were huddled up in the tiny hut.

They were all concentrating on the prayer.

But one beautiful little girl in a purple and white dress really caught my attention. There she was, in the middle of the crowd, kneeling down on her tiny knees, deep in prayer.

As I stood looking at her I couldn’t help but to capture the precious moment with my camera. I sensed that this was a moment of faith, hope, and love. Maybe she had a request? Maybe she was only listening? Maybe she was thanking God for the good meal?

I honestly don’t know what was going on in her young heart and mind. I can only imagine.

I’m no genius

What I do know is that God heard her prayer. Whatever she was saying, whatever she was requesting, I am confident that her prayers were heard.

I thought back to more than a year ago when I first came to this place. At that time, children’s ministry was the furtherst thing from my mind. I wasn’t against it, but I wasn’t interested in it either. I honestly didn’t even realize that it was possible for me to make any impact in the lives of children who lived 9,000 miles away from my home.

I live in America where there is an abundance of food, clothing and clean water. But this little girl lives in the Philippines where all of those things are hard to come by for the extreme poor.

In the last year I have witnessed many children here in the Philippines saying their prayers. I’m no genius, but if food and other necessities are hard to obtain, I bet they pray for it.

Was I part of the answer?

What made me have the desire to come here? What exactly was it that started this ball rolling in the first place? Why am I now fired up about children’s ministry?

Could it be that little children, like this one, prayed for God to give them food and God saw me?

Could it be that God speaking to my heart was in direct response to their prayer?

I think so! I believe I am here today as the President of an International ministry that cares for the poor partly because God hears the prayers of little children and he honors their pure faith and trust.

Don’t complicate things

Obviously, I am only a small part of the answer. I am only one little piece of a much larger puzzle. I know that because I cannot meet all the needs. I cannot be in two places at once and I have very limited resources.

And if I know God like I think I know God, he is speaking to many others like he spoke to me. He is pressing upon some heart, somewhere, to do some thing. He is instructing, (calling) someone to be the answer to these prayers.

Is it you? I want to encourage you to not complicate things if it is you. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t make excuses. Don’t brush off that still, small voice.

Why? Because God’s will for your life is not just about your life. Lit that sink in for a moment…

What if you are the answer to someone’s prayer but you refuse to go or to give or to, you fill in the blank.

I know there are a million things to consider and think about. I also know that some people spend their whole life considering and thinking! My advice is to trust God when he prompts you to do something. Just be the answer to someone’s prayers.

Are you the answer?

 

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