"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10
Right now, there are human beings living in dumps in Thailand.
"The refugees who had abandoned their villages to escape the fighting between government troops and the rebels left without any provisions or materials for housing and food storage. The first village is called Dump Village because it is located on the large dump of the refugee camp."
Imagine for just a moment, being forced from the comfort of your home because of how close the gunfire is getting. After traveling by foot for miles and miles, carrying whatever you could on your back, you stumble upon a "village" of other families just like you and yours, searching in even the dirtiest of places for peace and refuge.
"At...these villages, the people make a 'living' collecting and recycling garbage and trash," our partner in Thailand reported.
Living conditions such as these, both physically and emotionally, are extremely difficult to imagine. Think of the smell of the trash. Think of the sad look of hunger on your child's face. Think of that "trapped" feeling, never fully at rest.
This is their story. Everyday, they face these harsh realities.
When you think about it, we are all living within our own individual stories, but also within the larger story of redemption that God is writing. God is our Creator; naturally that means He is creative, like a story-teller. He is sometimes even referred to as an "author" (Acts 3:15 ESV, Hebrews 12:2 NASB).
One of the most beautiful aspects of following Jesus is that we are invited to join God in the writing process of the greater story. We who are more fortunate are blessed with the opportunity to co-author blessings into the stories of those who are less fortunate.
It says in Ephesians 2:10 that one of the purposes we were even created for was to do good works in Jesus' name. This is a great honor! Every time that you serve your neighbor, whether those next door or those far away through an organization like IDES, you personally add another pen stroke to the page of your neighbor's story.
Here's one such example from our mission partners in Thailand:
"When we were there...to distribute blankets, jackets, rain coats, [food, tents], and other relief supplies provided by IDES, we met this new family at Dump Village. The family name didn't even [appear] on the name list of the village. After we handled all supplies according to the family name list, Thanda, the mother of 5 (holding baby in the middle of picture above), came to me said, 'Please consider to share thing to my family. I know, we are new here, our name is not on the name list.' Then I asked her about her family. She told me that they just arrived here a week ago from Mae Ramat, about 2 hrs from the Dump Village...Thanda told me that they fled from the conflict about 10 years ago living near the borders. They don't have a permanent residence. Unfortunately, one morning, her husband left home for hunting wild animals, but this time he didn't come back. The family has been waiting for him over a month until he was found dead in the deep jungle...Thanda decided to move to here expecting a job from the garbage dump. We bought for the family a second hand cottage for $100. She was crying with so much gratefulness that now she has a "home" for her children to sleep. In fact, besides 5 of her own children, her parents and one of her nephew, all together 9 of them share this cottage!"
Just like that, thanks to your generosity and to the outreach of our mission partners, Thanda and her family's story have been re-written. Chapter One spoke of violence, fear, and grief as they fled from home and lost their husband and father. The next chapter, however, spoke of love, hope, and rejoicing as followers of Jesus reached out to them physically and spiritually.
Our partner said that, "although they were not Christians, they were very thankful and even prayed for the donors and those who participated in the charity works. [Please] continue to pray for the refugees along the border as they pose many health safety and other problems for the country and for themselves...Thank you, IDES for all you do. You are certainly impacting so many lives in different corners of this world!"
We are co-authors with God. Let's keep writing with all of our hearts.