JOY IN THE MORNING


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

JOY IN THE MORNING
==================
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. James 1:27

God’s
love compels us to feed the hungry, empower the poor, defend the weak
and
help those who are suffering. When we do these things, it
includes
encouraging and strengthening those persecuted for their faith in
Christ. The
Church has often led the way in education and medical services in
developing
countries until governments or other local agencies take
over.

Brother Andrew says that giving humanitarian aid is a picture of
Jesus
knocking at the door of our hearts (our lives) in Revelation chapter
three.
The doors of many hearts in the church are closed to acts of mercy and love in
action. Therefore, Jesus stands knocking at the door of our hearts
asking that
we open that door and let Him in. His coming into our lives
enables us to do
acts of love.

“They killed my husband before my very
own eyes. As if that wasn’t enough,
they destroyed everything by burning down
our house including my dear
husband’s workshop.” These were the words of
Esther, the widow whose husband
was killed by jihadists in Nigeria in January
2010.

For the mother of seven, life became unbearable. The house that her
children
called home no longer existed and the daunting absence of an income
was an
inevitable reality. To worsen their circumstances, the in-laws
abandoned
Esther and her children. Surrounded by walls of a room too small
for eight
people, depression threatened to overshadow her and Esther cried
night and
day, asking God for a way out.

She truly needed a shoulder
to lean on. A friend told us her story and from
there Open Doors provided
financial support for this family. As a result the
family was able to move
into an apartment in a Christian area, with enough
room for everyone. The new
home lent enough space for Esther to even start
working from home. She is a
tailor by profession and hopes to rent a shop in
the near
future.

Esther thought it wise to take some of the money and start a
vegetable garden
on a small scale. The idea is to feed her family and at the
same time generate
an income from it. She is confident that her vegetable
business will grow to
the point where she will be able to send the children
to school.

“If Open Doors had not come to my aid,” Esther concluded with
tears, “what
would have become of me and my children? For all I know, we all
would have
been dead, either by the hands of Jihadists or hunger. As for my
husband’s
killers—though it’s been difficult—through your prayers and
encouragement I’ve
been able to forgive them.”

RESPONSE: Today I will
live in awareness of those around me needing help and
respond
appropriately.

PRAYER: Lord, give me Your compassion for people in need.
May I be an agent of
Your love today.

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