James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)
I was only twelve when I met my first "street" child. This tousle-haired child already knew what it was like to wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a drunken argument in the next room. "I slept outdoors last night," the dirty-faced six-year-old boy explained to his friend. "Hector's grandfather married my mother and there was a big fight when my dad came home."
Six-year-old children shouldn't have to run away from home in order to find protection from adults, but they do. This past week, we said farewell to two very dear friends who have heard their cries for help. Kerry and Carole Allison, retired, early seniors, at a time in their lives when most people their age are thinking of travel, golf, or pursuing personal goals, have left the comfort of their home and community here in the Sussex area of New Brunswick, Canada, to go to Odessa in the Ukraine. Their hope is to make a difference in the lives of street children.
Although not all of us are able to go to places like Odessa, yet many who feel the unspoken cry of these children are compelled to do something. That was the case for a group of my husband's friends who arrived at my home last Thursday to play Kerry's favourite game, PSHAW. The last gentleman to come in the door was carrying an oversized jar, and when I expressed surprise at the empty container, he explained, "We're going to collect for Kerry and Carole's street kids."
Not all of us will go to far-away places to help children, and not all of us can give large gifts of money, but if we all do our part to look after the orphans and the homeless, we will be demonstrating the kind of religion that God accepts as pure and faultless.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to demonstrate Your love to those around us who are needy and homeless. Amen.