The Price Of A Life
When you arrive in Romania by plane, you land in the capital city of Bucharest. The airport and many parts of the city are modern, like cities elsewhere in Europe. This surprises some of our visitors since we are a former communist country. By contrast, once you leave the city limits, within minutes you feel like you have gone back a century in time. The poverty of rural places makes you quickly forget about the modern urban areas. A question that we are asked many times and cannot fully answer is: “How do these people survive?” It is surely not due to the $10 per month support many families receive for each child. The health of many families in poor communities is very fragile. With poverty, you start having all kinds of problems. As we attended the feeding program at one of our Feeding Centers in April, we saw a few children were coming bare-footed. After one of the coldest winters in our country, we could not believe our eyes. We quickly made arrangements to send more shoes to this center. Much more disturbing for us was learning that young girls are being sold for around $2000 as they reach 12-13 years old. One of the girls attending the feeding center was already “engaged.” I was shocked to hear this. We may even need to start a new ministry project which focuses just on saving girls from this abuse. No parent in normal circumstances would ever agree to this. The effect of this type of organized crime is devastating for our children. I wondered how God feels about his little children being treated as goods for sale.
“Is there hope?” I asked myself as I was looking over the room of children dressed poorly. For hunger and lack of clothing we know what to do, but how can we change their life direction? What about the emotional hurt? Then I realized that Jesus already paid the price on the cross. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The sister who was teaching them started to read a story from one of the Christian books they used. When she was reading, a poor Muslim girl named Doinita, continued the story. Everybody in the room stopped as we all thought she also had a book and was reading from it. It made my heart pound with excitement when I realized she was quoting from memory. Apparently, she was handed a book like that and she read it at home. It is hard to imagine a Muslim girl reading Christian literature in her home. We strongly believe that the food, clothing, medicine and other supplies are good but insufficient. It takes a divine touch that comes through hearing the word of God to change one’s life. Feeding the body and the soul seemed to make the difference in Doinita’s little life.
To reach, save, and secure the lives of the poor children in destitute communities is not a one-time action but a consistent day by day commitment. Bread of Life needs your help to provide them with proper shoes, clothing, food, and Christian literature. Missionaries in these places often feel discouraged as they see the overwhelming need surrounding them. Let’s show them we care and we will stand by them through the good times and bad.
Many of our supporters have never seen poverty at the level found in the remote villages where we operate Feeding Centers. Even though the children come bare-footed and barely dressed, they are praying to God and trusting Him to provide for their future.
What a joy it is to see the spiritual benefits of our Feeding Center program!
Even children in mostly Muslim communities like this one come into these churches to participate. More than just good nutrition, they enthusiastically learn, sing, and pray.