What a gift we’ve been given…

As I reflect on the trip to Moldova in December of 2011 and January 2012, I’m struck with the fact that I have never begun a new year in another country before…at the same time, I’m overwhelmed with the fact that I’ve never started a new year without a warm, safe, comfortable place to sleep. Oh, I’ve gone to bed too late on New Year’s eve before or I’ve probably slept somewhere other than my own bed, but I’ve never been faced with sleeping in a 50+ year old, broken down bed with a urine-stained mattress in a marginally heated institution with others who have no home or no parents. In fact, I can’t remember a single New Year’s where I wasn’t somewhere I chose to be, even if it wasn’t at home or with my own family. I have never before been forced to depend on someone else to care for me because those who God gave me to, decided someone or something else was more important. Am I fortunate? You bet! Am I more blessed than someone else? In some people’s estimation. What about in God’s eyes…Am I more fortunate…not really…I’m doomed to the same fate as every orphan; an eternity of separation from God. It is only because of Jesus that I have been adopted into relationship with God the father. I was fatherless just like many of these orphans, but by His grace I am an orphan no more. Am I more blessed…not hardly…the blessings that have been showered upon me are available to all, it is simply the fact that I have been made aware of those blessings and have received them. Jesus said He came that we would have life and have it to the full. Some of you may say, but Tony you live in America, and you have a job and a family, etc. You are MORE blessed. Those are things God has given me and I am grateful for all of them. But the most important blessing I’ve been given is the knowledge of who Jesus is. Most of these children do not realize what they don’t have, but they do understand compassion and affection and genuine love. And they do understand when the love of God is shared with them. What an incredible gift has been given to us as followers of Christ to share His love with those who don’t know Him and those who are less fortunate than us. I’m more determined now than ever to share that love and I hope as you read this you’ll make the decision to share the light God has placed in you with a lost and dying world. God Bless you and God Bless the orphans in Moldova and around the world. Let’s make a difference for them through prayer and through action. Let this new year be the year you get involved in the life of “the least of these”. (Matthew 25:40)

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