I’m going to take you on a journey. Close your eyes and imagine this:
You wake up in the middle of the night with suspicious rumblings in your intestines and you feel hot and nauseous. You desperately need the toilet and it seems like there will be an imminent gushing of liquid from both ends.
There is no toilet inside. There is no sink, shower or bath. There is no toilet outside either.
You rush into the pitch darkness and fumble around for the nearest tree. You tried your best to lean away, but your tee shirt is covered with vomit and there is diarrhea dripping down both legs.
No white, absorbent roll of tissue in sight. You’ve never, ever seen one. Grass is grabbed from around you but the heat of your country means it’s very dry. As you wipe yourself, a sharp blade cuts your bottom and now you’re bleeding too.
There is no water to rinse your mouth out and the acid stings the back of your tongue. The stench in your throat and nostrils makes you wretch once more, bringing up the remainder of last night’s pitiful meal.
Your clothes are drenched with body fluids so you have no choice but to take them off. There are a few other silhoettes moving around in the distance, people using trees as lavatories, but thankfully no one can see you standing naked in the darkness. But the large moths with rubber wings can and they hit your face like bullets from a pellet gun. So can the cockroaches and termites that have been attracted by the rancid aroma.
Worst still are the swarm of mosquitoes that now cover your torso. You rush inside to try and bat them off with an old cloth but the sudden quick motion of your body sets off another bout of retching.
There is no water to wash off the stuff that was discharged from your body. No spray to kill the mosquitoes.
A cry is heard from the corner of the room. Your baby has awoken, desperate for 2 ounces of milk – men, please don’t switch off now you know I’m describing a female. You are there too, lying on a hard mattress infested with fleas. The necessity for sleep is more important to you than the swollen, itchy spots all up your arm. You’ve got to get up at 5am to make your 11 mile trip down to the next village where a little work is being offered. But every man has the same idea so you need to be one of the first 60 in the queue.
You pick up your baby but oh, how can you put it to your breast if it’s contaminated with traces of vomit? What if it’s a bug and the baby catches it? You still hasn’t managed to sweep of the mosquitoes. Normally you would feed it under the net but it will be no use now.
You go back outside, this time, moving slowly and you look around at the dark figures by the trees. You can’t approach anybody as it could be a man with his trousers down. The only thing to do is shout. “Please? Please? Does anyone have a cup of water I can share? I wouldn’t normally ask, but it’s urgent.”
An old lady out walking her grandchild, trying to lull it back to sleep, hears your cry and beckons you over. She gives you the remains of a cup she was drinking herself.
“Thank you so much Mother.” You says out of respect. “I need it to rinse off, er, dirt so I can feed my little one.” The grandmother didn’t say another word but smiled and walked away. She knew by the smell what had really happened, as this had been her own experience a few times when her kids were small.
Finally your chest is washed and the remaining few drops are placed on your baby’s hot brow.
Scenarios like this are very real and happen regularly. Please click the link below to see what a fantastic difference people are making in the lives of the helpless and how you can have the opportunity to be part of a project that is blessing many desperate people.
So what challenges me? 1 John 3:17-18 “Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all that he needs. He sees his brother in Christ who is poor and does not have what he needs. What if the believer does not help the poor brother? Then the believer does not have God’s love in his heart. My children, our love should not be only words and talk. Our love must be true love. And we should show that love by what we do.” (New Century Version)
May God bless you abundantly as you open your heart with your sacrificial giving and love.