Let me share an experience Luke and I had during our Travels this year.
As a frequent Traveler, I am always being told not to give beggars money. Why? Because there is no way to know whether they are receiving the money or if they are being Pimped. Instead, give them food, etc. Well, Luke and I had to make several “Border runs” to Burma (Now Myanmar) while we were in Thailand. We had to do this in order to renew our Visa and receive more legal days in Thailand. All in all, a process I loathe & despise. 6 hours in a van full of strange people there, and 6 back again, for a handful of money. Ugh. But one must do what one must do in World Missions. 🙂
I liken Burma to entering another realm. Not just another country. The difference is staggering. The Poverty. The sickness. The machine guns.
On each occasion of our Visits to the Border we ran into this one (adorable) little boy. He was always waiting on the other side of the bridge- ready to get in-your-face and beg for money. Gosh, he was cute. With his dirty face and bleach dyed hair. He had the puppy face down-pat.
His demeanor led me to assume he must have a “handler” and my instincts to “not feed the machine” kicked in. I would smile or give him a hug, but we were always in a hurry. in-and-out. And I didn’t want to feed the Human trafficking crisis we have in this World.
One the last trip to Myanmar I saw him- but this time across the river. I was in Thailand, He in Burma. And I was disgusted by what I saw. This adorable little boy (about 9 years old) was bathing in GARBAGE. He DRANK from this River. I saw sewers draining about 10 feet away from where he was wading. I realized, he must live there. There he was, but this time, not smiling, not cute, in his dirty underwear only. He was swimming in trash and feces.
That day we were able to bring a bottle of spring water across the Border with us and give him it to drink. And you would not believe how he drank.
It broke my heart. But this is happening everyday.
I could have given him 6 bottles of water each time I had come. But this was my last visit, and I mourned for him.
I share this just to remind us all to be Christ in all circumstances.
Life can get in the way, it may not always be rational, but let’s not let that stop us from Loving. Let’s change the world one person at a time. We all desperately need God.