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Fragile … handle with prayer

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lonely, child, park, bench

Years ago I was pastor of a church that had a bus ministry. Every Saturday we would get on our busses and travel the route assigned to us to urge children and their families to ride our bus to Sunday School and church the next morning.

On a rather cold December Saturday morning I got out of the bus to go into a rather unkempt shanty to visit a family. A little girl, who was probably five-years-old, came to the door. She had on a dirty sweater that obviously belonged to an adult. There was also a little boy there, who was probably four-years-old. He had on a torn shirt and his pants were hung at half-mast. The house was filthy and the odor was stifling.

When I asked the little girl if her parents were home she shook her head, indicating they were not there. She didn’t seem to know where her parents were and gave the appearance of great loneliness and neglect.

What happened next stunned me and moved me to tears.  She looked up at me with her longing eyes, gestured toward her brother, and asked, “Do you know anybody who would love us?”

The sight of this little girl and her brother illustrated to me just how vulnerable and fragile so many children are today. The condition of these two children and others who became a part of our bus ministry drove our church to handle their plight with prayer and care.

Jesus said, “Permit the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Our Savior gave us an example of how we should favor and care for children.

Nothing is more heart-rending than to see children who are neglected, abandoned, or abused. We all cringe with horror and alarm when we think about the great American holocaust – the abortion of children. However, the revulsion of abortion is almost rivaled by the inattention and mistreatment of children in many segments of our society today.

The proliferation of divorce and its impact upon children, the parental abuse of drugs and alcohol, the economic recession, and a host of other things militate against the wellbeing and security of children today.

Thankfully, Georgia Baptists have a cherished ministry called the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries. Their objective is to meet the needs of children and displaced families. Their theme this year is: “Fragile ... Handle with Prayer.”

This year Georgia Baptists have the opportunity to celebrate Children’s Home Offering Day on Sunday, May 8. Promote this offering and plan to give generously to bless children in need. Your gift will reveal your understanding of just how fragile so many of the children in our state are and just how much you want to be a blessing to them by praying, giving, and caring.

By the way, our church started praying for that family we encountered in our bus ministry.  Our prayers motivated us to take them on as a project. We found the father a job, provided food and clothing for the children and the parents, cleaned and renovated their house, and eventually got them in church.

Prayer should lead to the giving of yourself to a need.

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