Facing Challenges

SIC

Gone is the month of September 2012 and welcome to October. The past month has been full of blessings and wonderful experiences and we do believe that God’s hand will be stretched out unto us all this month so we may serve him in truth and spirit.

Most of us fear challenges, especially when it means challenging our own faith in Christ and the way we live as we claim the identity of being Christians. But we need not to avoid challenges for they shall come again, and therefore we just have to face it and overcome. It’s not easy but every problem has a solution even if we may not know the exact answer but we are assured that there is a solution.

Just two weeks ago i decided to go out one day at mid-night to a nearby MacDonald outlet to get something to eat, because i couldn’t go out during the day as it rained all the day and only at that time that it came to a stand still with light showers. The outlet is just a block away from my residence and the security guard at my place offered to accompany me which i gladly welcomed. So, we bought the burgers and drinks and just as we walked out of the store, there was a family lying there on the floor, all awake with 3 children aged 2-6 years looking at us and we were surprised by this sudden notice and i feared at first but in a few seconds realized they weren’t dangerous to my safety. But the story of this family is that they are homeless, they couldn’t go out to beg the whole day because of the rain and as they were sitted by that corner, they expected to get the food remains from the store but unfortunately another family took was given and they were just awake in anticipation of assistance from any person that would pass by. What surprised me most was the 2 year old girl who didn’t have enough clothing to protect her from the rain and cold temperatures and was still awake by midnight and didn’t eat anything. The security guard asked me, sir can you please help, i wondered as to what i could do for this family as i didn’t have enough even for myself. We both decided to give out all that we bought and the money we had in our pockets to the family, the guard went further and gave out his jacket to family so they could protect the young girl, i was amazed by such an act. I didn’t say anything else and we walked back to the residence quietly and i wondered to myself as to what God has planned for this family and how could i be eating 3 meals a day when young kids failed to get something to eat.

The challenge to me wasn’t their hunger or poverty or homelessness, because there are thousands of people in the same circumstances in Manila with some living under the bridges and less than 3 metres from the ocean, being vulnerable to any changes in the level of the water.  The challenge to me was how to live according to the teachings and principles of Christianity at times like this, when i am asked to compromise between my desire and other people’s needs.

We are called to meet the needs of the poor and consider the least of these people in our communities as humans worth the dignity and humanity that we have given by the fact that they are a representation of Christ in the world as they were created in His image. At times we are caught in between the modern teachings about human survival, economics and savings for old age and the teachings of the bible about the sharing of resources. As Christian we affirm it in our churches that we stand with the poor but we at times stigmatize the poor, treat them with no respect, criminalize the homeless and all sorts of maltreatment. Little do we recognize that we are spared from these challenges not because of our unique abilities or qualities but because of the grace and love of God that has been manifested in us and through which we are compelled to extend those blessings unto our brothers and sisters in need.

My hope is that this month of October brings you an opportunity to reconsider your spiritual standing, challenge yourself, your faith and beliefs in relation to your actions and take a bold decision, to carry the cross of Christ, to stand with Christ at the darkest hour of the day by meeting the needs of the poor and needy members of our community. God is watching us from above and will reward all actions we undertake in good faith to accomplish his desire for humanity.

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