Victor Cortez, Regional Director of Food for the Hungry in Latin America, shared the following insight about people living in physical poverty.
When vulnerable people host others in their home, they share the best they have with their guests. They do not share what they do not like any more, what they no longer use, or only their most abundant supplies. They share the best they have.
I saw this principle illustrated through a story from Guatemala that two of our facilitators told me.
When we were doing the baseline study in a new community where Food for the Hungry (FH) was going to start operations, the team of two facilitators conducting the surveys visited a remote house. After walking for nearly an hour, they finally arrived at a tiny two-room house. They found the owner, a woman who was very happy to see the arrival of two visitors, as she attended very well to the requests of the FH facilitators.
After completing the survey, the facilitators began to say their goodbyes, but the woman asked them to stay a little longer. She wanted to prepare a meal for them. The facilitators thanked her but said that they should continue surveying a neighboring house that was even further up the road.
Their hostess would not take no for an answer. She begged them to stay. “It will only take 15 minutes!” she cried.
The facilitators felt honored by the woman’s sincere desire to host them, so they accepted the invitation.
The woman then walked outside the home, took one of the three chickens she had to her name, and proceeded to prepare it for cooking.
The facilitators quickly realized that it was going to take much more than 15 minutes to prepare the meal! They spoke with their hostess and agreed that they would go to the next house, complete the survey there, and then return to eat the meal she was preparing.
An hour later, the facilitators finished their survey at the neighboring house and said their goodbyes. As they began the walk back to the home of the woman, they saw a figure running toward them. As she got closer, they saw that it was her. She was carrying a basket.
“I thought you were not coming,” she said breathlessly. “So I came up here to share this meal with you.”
I heard this story from the two facilitators who received the meal from the woman. With tears in their eyes one of them said to me, “How can a woman who does not even know us share something so valuable, perhaps even representing a month of savings? What was in the heart of this woman that allowed her to share in ways that we can’t bring ourselves to share?”
The woman’s story challenges us to ask ourselves, When we start a relationship with the most vulnerable people, do we have the same willingness to share the best we have?
To share out of ‘the best that you have’ sponsor a child today: www.fh.org/child
To learn more about God’s heart for the poor and our responsibility as Christians, visit:http://povertyunlocked.com/
To learn more about how you and your church can engage with Food for the Hungry and the people we walk with around the world, visit: http://www.fh.org/help/churches/c2c