So you guys know in the Bible when God tells Abraham that his offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the sky?
Human birth rate: 4 per second
Human death rate: 2 per second
Star birth rate: 4 per second
Star death rate: 2 per second
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting a sixty-seven year old homeless man named Tom. In the last couple months I’ve noticed a growth of homelessness near the edges of our city, but something about Tom was significantly different.
At first I gave Tom some change and offered to pray for him in passing, but once I returned to my car and preceded to drive off, something vibrant was telling me to go back. I got out of my car and decided I wasn’t going to ignore what God had put on my heart, and that my agenda will not be put before someone in need.
In returning to where Tom was sitting, I began to ask him about his story, and how he ended in the predicament he was today.
Five years ago Tom lost everything he owned to Hurricane Katrina, and has been homeless ever since. He made his way to California to “try and make it”, but has fallen short like many others in similar situations.
I came to find that Tom has no family, no friends, or living relatives within his reach. And the only person he had talked to in the last few years, was me.
I preceded to ask Tom if there was anything he needed. Or any way I could help.
4) A Cellphone?
Tom said, “a cellphone would be great for health related emergencies”. I told Tom to meet me in the same spot the next day, and I would have a pre-paid cellphone waiting for him.
Sure enough, at the same spot the next day, Tom was waiting for me and I had his cellphone in hand. He began to thank me, shake my hand, and tell me how grateful he was for the phone. After praying and getting him some lunch, we parted ways and for the last two weeks have not since him since.
Yesterday, on the way back to my car I heard a familiar voice yell, “Hey Jarrid!”. And to my surprise, it was Tom, leaning up against the same curb grinning the same smile. I joyfully walked over to him and asked how he was doing, and where he had been. Tom began to share something with me that I will never forget.
The day after I gave him the cellphone, Tom went into congestive heart failure underneath the bridge where he sleeps. Because of the cellphone, he was able to call 911, and has been in hospital recovery ever since.
Tom’s exact words to me were, “If it wasn’t for that phone, I would NOT be here today”.
That’s no coincidence. That’s God.
- Jarrid Wilson
Twitter | http://twitter.com/JarridWilson
Blogsite | http://www.JarridWilson.com
Been following Pastor Youcef’s case for a while. Please keep him in your prayers and other brothers and sisters going through similar persecution! Also remember their families.
Please pray for him. I know God will take care of him.
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I confess I cried. (:
And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
My testimony and this picture..I should share it on here one day.
Blessing to everyone!
Our Indonesian sister, Yubelina Hgato, was featured on the cover of the January 2011 newsletter. After we published the image of her badly burned face, our mailbox quickly filled up with letters. Many were angry, accusing us of sensationalism, of playing on emotions. Others were more understanding. Katie wrote, “I keep Yubelina’s picture displayed right by my computer. I hate to say it, but it was hard to look at her picture every day. Now, all I see when I look at her is the joy of Christ!”
Yubelina was badly injured during an attack on her Christian village. As she ran from her attackers, she spilled a kerosene lamp that ignited and burned her face. That was in 2001. During the past 10 years, VOM has walked alongside Yubelina. We paid travel costs from her remote village to the island of Java, where she received high quality care, and arranged for her to have plastic surgery. Yubelina still bears the scars of her ordeal, not only on her face but also in her heart. Her husband left her, and she supports her two children by working on her brother’s farm. Every time a stranger gasps or recoils at her face, every time her daughter comes home in tears because someone called her mother a monster, Yubelina’s suffering is renewed. Seven months ago, we brought
Yubelina from her home on the island of Halmahera to the island of Java for a follow-up medical appointment and to get new eyeglasses. Between appointments, Yubelina joyfully spent some time at our Java office helping fold and stuff Indonesian VOM newsletters into envelopes for mailing.
This September, we met Yubelina at her brother’s home in the village of
Tomabaro, a cluster of simple structures alongside a road. Yubelina gave us each a hug before proudly walking us about 50 feet down the road, where her new home is being built. VOM provided funds for the home, and a local pastor is helping Yubelina oversee the project. The foundation is poured, the roof sits atop the wall frames, and the brick walls rise more than halfway to the roof. One room of the four-room structure is intended to be a prayer room.
“I’m so happy this year,” she told us. “God gave me this house.” Yubelina told us she now has new hope.
Yubelina’s two older children, Vivi, 17, and Vandi, 15, study at a boarding school an hour and a half away. Her youngest child, 13-year-old Febi, is still at home with her. Since becoming more committed to her faith in 1999, Yubelina has prayed that her children will grow strong in the Lord.
She is encouraged each Sunday when she attends her church, which is still meeting in a semi-permanent structure 10 years after the attack on the village. The village is made up mostly of those who fled the Muslim attack in 2000.
Although Muslim neighbors live just yards down the road in the next village, Yubelina says they do not interact. As Yubelina and her two daughters sifted through more than 1,200 cards, letters, drawings and small gifts from VOM readers, she was overwhelmed by the love shown by her Christian family. “After the incident where I was burned and when my husband left , there was
so much misery and suffering. But I received blessings from the Lord. I believe God has a plan for me.”
Is it the wise thing to do?
In light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing to do?
A must-read story.
I’ll be honest. It makes me cry every time I read it.
It also makes me thankful and gives me incredible hope.