One of our sponsors, Melissa S., has started a blog (www.reachthepoorthisweek.com) where you can sign up to receive a weekly story of real child’s challenges and triumphs written at a 4th grade level for you to share with your children. (Just by subscribing, $1 will be donated to VisionTrust.) Below is a story from Reach The Poor This Week.
**Please read this story yourself before sharing it with young children.**
Over 9 million people live in the capital city of Lima, Peru. It is a metropolitan area where many factories are located. People have businesses here and the city continues to grow very fast. The city does not have enough houses for everyone to live in, and many people do not make enough money to provide for their own basic needs. Homelessness is a very common problem in Lima. You can see children begging for food on the streets or searching through trashcans for their next meal. A cardboard box or a pile of trash is sometimes their home and often their clothes are stained and dirty.
Ada was one of these children for many years. She lived on the streets of Lima with her mother and siblings. Her mother was so desperate for food that she gave Ada’s younger siblings away to another family. After a while, a social worker who helps struggling families took Ada and her younger sister to live in an orphanage in Lima. Living in the orphanage was very hard for Ada. She and her sister were both treated very badly by the some of the workers. Time after time, Ada would be hit, kicked and abused by those who were supposed to be taking care of her. She had no hope, no future and no love in her life.
Many years ago, Ada was taken to a safe place called Casa Luz that is run by VisionTrust workers. The first thing Ada did when she arrived was ask the director if she was a nice lady and if she was going to hit her. Ada for desperate for a safe home! Thanks to the people of Casa Luz, Ada’s life was about to change. They welcomed her with loving arms, provided food to keep her healthy, and taught her about Jesus. Today, at the age of 20, Ada has become a very outgoing and sincere girl who soaks up love and freely gives it to others.
Ada heard that her mother was very sick. She was able to visit her one last time before she died. Ada had the opportunity to tell her mom about Jesus and they prayed together for her mother to accept Christ. The love of Jesus has changed Ada’s story from being hopeless to being full of hope. God is using her story to impact the lives of many people.
- How do you feel when you see a homeless person on the street? Discuss these emotions with your family.
- What are some things that you could do as a family to help the homeless?
- What can you do to be sure that you are always showing others that you love and care for them?
The Parque de las Leyendas is Lima’s traditional zoo. This is a must-see tourist attraction! In addition to observing Peru’s diverse animal population the zoo also has museums throughout the park that share the history of Peru and Lima’s ancient past.
Pray for Ada to continue to share the story of Jesus’ love to other people.
Pray for the homeless people in your own city. Sometimes it can be scary to see someone living on the streets with no money or food. When you see them, take a minute to pray for them and ask God to help provide for their needs with a safe place to sleep, food to eat and clean clothing.
Ways to get involved:
With your family, create “Blessings Bags” that can be given to the homeless people in your area. Keep them in your car and when you see someone in need give them a Blessing Bag. Fill a Zip-lock bag with toiletries like soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo and a comb. Add individually wrapped snacks such as nuts, granola bars, and mints. You could even write a special note or include a Bible verse or a prayer.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life if gone; a new life has begun!”