I’ll never forget the morning. It was our morning coffee and prayer time, and Darlene and I were sitting at Cafe Concerto just off Fewa Lake in Pokhara, Nepal. We were waiting on our ILLY Coffee (imported from Italy – Praise the Lord) when one of the many homeless boys approached and began to beg of us.
The boy looked just like most of the other beggar children around here – filthy, tattered clothes, barefoot, a sight I have seen thousands of times as we travel around the world, but this time there was something different. There was something so very authentic about the look in his eyes, the way he rubbed his belly, the way he answered the cafe workers who told him to move on. He looked at me and I could see that he was authentically hungry. Most times the beggar kids are smiling, laughing, trying to pressure you, but this boy was desperate. He looked in pain.
I’ve seen hungry before, and this was it.
He looked broken, and suddenly so was I. It caught me by surprise. It punched me when I wasn’t looking. The hard skin covering my travel experienced heart cracked and I felt God’s pain at this hungry child. I felt my eyes grow warm and without being able to help it I wept in public. I felt like I was looking at Jesus in Nepali child form.
As I sat there for a moment weeping, I felt like I could hear the thoughts of my fellow travelers sitting nearby. Look at the newbie traveler, he’ll learn not to feel so much. But God in me didn’t seem to care what the other travelers thought. Jesus in me didn’t seem to give a rip what I nor they thought. For a moment I felt His unfiltered love for this boy. I saw things so differently, so clearly.
“I’ll be right back,” I said to Darlene. She already knew where I was going, down the street to a little shop. Noodles, Lays Potato Chips, some Chocolate. Total? $4.00. A few minutes later I found the boy squatting on the side of the shop. The shop workers had given him a bottle of water.
I approached, suppressing sobs, gave him the bag, and before I exploded in tears I turned and walked away. I sat back down and started to drink my late. The waiter, who had seen me give the kid some food, approached.
“Those children, where do they live?” I asked.
“There are about ten or eleven boys that live here on the street.”
“Do they have parents?”
“No. They have no one to take care of them.”
He gave me our bill and returned to his duties. I pulled out my money to pay, $4.50. I sighed, holding back more emotion.
Our morning coffee costs more than that kid’s food for a day.
I know that these boys are probably hard to deal with, not used to rules, and probably don’t want off the streets if that means being good, but let me ask you, should we care? Most have no parents. They have no one to teach them right and wrong. They have no one to show them how to be Godly or honorable. They’ve had to learn to survive according to their own rules. They need a woman to show them love and discipline. They need a man to show them how to be little men. They need food daily. They need training. They need to know about Jesus. They need to know they have value. They need to know that they are not untouchable.
As we walked away I had a strong thought that I want you to consider…
Jesus changed the world with eleven boys, and He can do it again.
That day, I didn’t weep because I am so loving. I honestly wept because I realize how hard our hearts can be. I wept because of The Holy Spirit living in me. His strong emotion and love pushed its way through my tears.
Little did I know that this would be one of the seeds that God would use to call us to start a new work in Nepal. Since then, we’ve held multiple outreaches to the poor, and we are already better from what God and they have taught us about life. Now, we are in the process of starting a center to educate kids like these, train teachers to go to the villages, to teach their mothers and fathers to read. We want to provide education and day-care to mothers and fathers to prevent this from happening to other kids. We want to give skills training and help these parents find viable jobs
There are up to 20,000 annual cases of kids being trafficking from Nepal into a lifetime of slavery. That is not okay. The root problem is poverty, the lack of education and opportunity, anonymity, and of course, spiritual and religious bondage, and (as always) the love of money.
Honestly, there are times when I look at the budget and sigh, but when I consider all we have and can do for these kids; when I think about the face of that little boy – hungry, and using all the manipulation he could just to get some food – I don’t care anymore.
It must be done, whatever the cost!
I’ve learned that although that little boy technically is an orphan, he is not.
He has a Heavenly Father who is calling a few thousand of his other adopted children from around the world to take care of one of their own in Nepal.
I am that boy. If you are a Christian, you are that boy. We were all filthy, and hungry, and desperate spiritually, and God sent others to help me. He sent Jesus to help us and because of Jesus we’re must-see ourselves as that kid’s brother and sister.
Now, for a confession.
This post was first written a few years ago, and the original had a different ending. The original ending talked about how we need someone to go and do something about this. I talked about how overworked Darlene and I were, stretched so thin that we could not find the time or resources to do this work.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
All these reasons (excuses) why someone else should do it. I even taught a little lesson about the need for others to step up and help. While that lesson is still true (the laborers in the non-glamourous mission world are SO few compared to the vast need of the unreached world – not to mention the imbalance of those GOING to the number of laborers hanging out in green rooms), I’ve learned something that I think you need to know.
When you see a need and the Holy Spirit moves on you in such a strong way as He did me, most likely you are the one called to meet that need.
You must have this mindset when you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to fill a need. You must think that there is no one else that will help because chances are that no one will do it if you don’t. You are not waiting for someone else, you are the one destined to be the hero at this moment.
So, do something. Take one step forward. Don’t wait for someone else to move. You move. Right now. You are needed and the time is now.
As you read this, do you feel something stirring deep in you? Do you, like Darlene and I, feel the need to be involved in helping boys like this? If so, you can. You can give a special gift or you can become a monthly partner with Hasten International Mission to help us reach these children with the love of Jesus. Whatever you do, just don’t wait. It takes about thirty seconds for the world to distract us from doing good to having fun or being worried about some other news story.
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