Advent Devotional – December 13

Reflecting God at work

Please read Matthew 12:15-21

 I am involved with a ministry at a school for children living in poverty in Guatemala. The school provides the students (and their families) with food, emotional and spiritual support and an education.  Repeatedly, the families and older  children tell me that they thank God for the hope that this school provides them.

The actions of this ministry seem basic to me. I have often pondered what defines hope for these children and their families. Is it the promise of  another meal provided by the school when there is no food at home? Is it the education? The opportunities they would not otherwise have in their lives? Is it the daily prayers that we pray with these families?

One day I asked Juan, a graduate of the school this question.  Juan, who as a child ate out of trash dumps because of his poverty, will soon be a licensed psychologist (he now has more education than 98 percent of all Guatemalans). He told me that people used to talk about God and tell him that God loved him. He says while he and his family were starving, he could not understand that concept. He thought God loved everyone else but not him. Then, people from the school asked him to attend school (no one in his family had ever gone to school). He was told that he could become anything he wanted to become, he was fed and he had a safe place to go every day. That entire experience, he says, gave him and his family the ability to see God at work. Really seeing God at work, he says, is what gives him, his family and all the other children and families at the school hope.

Dear Lord, I pray that you will provide me the gift of reflecting your hope to others. Help me to remember that every day I have the opportunity to touch the lives of others, often through simple actions. May I be a reflection of you, hope and God at work. Amen

Paula Bohland



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