Where do I begin? There is so much to share about our time here in Thailand. I could honestly go on and on about what we are experiencing and seeing here. What I really want to share today though is about a recent experience that I had. Can I just be real and transparent with y’all for a few? Let me give you a little background first. Here in the area that we live and minister there is a lot of poverty. There are beggars and homeless people everywhere. There are honestly so many needs it is hard to determine where to begin. There are lot of people though who beg for money as a career. They don’t really need it but they act as if they do. We have been told by several other “seasoned” missionaries to not give money to anyone. So that gets me to my recent experience that I want to share with you. Tina and I had finished shopping and were loading the groceries into our car. As I am in the middle of putting things into the trunk a young girl walked up to me. She was obviously dirty and appeared to be in need.
She was rubbing her stomach and kept saying, “hungry, hungry, I so hungry.” She spoke very little English and we speak very little Thai.
I told her I was sorry and that I didn’t have anything. She then slowly began to walk away and then sat down on the curb nearby. As I saw her walk away I stood there knowing I had money in my pocket. I was seriously convicted. Everything I had been taught and told by these “seasoned and experienced” missionaries told me not to give her anything.
As I stood there I kept asking myself, what would Jesus do? I have read and reread God’s Word. I have studied it over and over. Not once in my studies though do I find where Jesus held back anything from those in need. There is not a single Scripture that says not to give those in need. As I am standing there with a million thoughts running through my mind, my wife then steps into action. Tina walked over and gave this young woman some money to go buy food. I observed from a few feet away. The young woman just began to sob. She was overjoyed with thankfulness. I wondered how many other people had rejected her and told her no. Was this the only meal she would eat today? How did she end up in this situation? I had so many thoughts going on. In the grand scheme of things, the amount of money was insignificant. There is no telling what I would have spent it on if I had kept it. At that moment though I knew that we just invested into something priceless.
As Tina and I drove away we were both in tears. I was struggling with how to handle this. I have been very blessed. God has shown up in our finances in more ways and times that I can count. I have never gone without. Everything we have is because God gave it to us. I immediately made a decision. It didn’t matter what others did or didn’t do. I knew what I would do. Yes, I will listen to the advice of those who have gone before me and plowed the path but in this moment I am not afraid to go against the grain. I will gladly give money away every day if it means someone can enjoy a hot meal. A few dollars here and there is not going to hurt me. Yes, I may have to skip a few fast food meals or skip getting coffee out. Does that stuff even matter though? I honestly say it would probably benefit me to skip the meals anyway.
So anyways that’s where I am at right now. There is so much need and many turn away from it. Many people (including missionaries and ministries) justify why they don’t or won’t do anything. I know that inaction is not going to solve anything though. It is time we truly be the hands and feet of Jesus. It is time we truly to begin to walk as ambassadors of the Kingdom.
Matthew 25:40 states, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Then it goes on in Matthew 25: 45 to state, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Do you want to be known for action or inaction? James 2:15-16 states, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
It is time for the body of Christ rise up. It is time we put our faith into action. It is time we truly start being the church.
Be Blessed ~Joshua