That's How Jesus Did It
I peered out the window as our bus wove its way through the streets. It was early in the morning, but the women were already outside washing clothes while their children played in the streets. Our bus slowed to a stop and I fixated on one child, squatting on the ground, entirely content as he quietly played with the dirt. Where am I? As I pondered the surreal feel of my surroundings, my reverie was interrupted by the opening of the bus doors and a flock of excited children jumping on the bus. “Morning, Auntie!” they called to me with sheer excitement. Before I could even gather my thoughts, the bus was filled with giggling faces. I looked out the window at their home. Trucks piled in from all over the city delivering garbage. These kids literally lived among the trash. My thoughts were once again interrupted as I felt a tiny hand on my knee. I looked down to see a boy no older than 3 sitting next to me with his hand on my lap. I grabbed his hand, and he looked up at me and smiled. Lord! This is quite literally hurting my heart!
We arrived at the school – it was small, just one room. The kids herded off the bus and ran towards the water pump. One by one they removed whatever scraps of clothing they had and jumped excitedly in the water as the teachers gently bathed them and put a uniform shirt on them. Each child grabbed a cup and lined up excitedly to receive their small biscuit and milk. I watched in amazement as the teachers at this school poured their lives into these children from the slums. With clean bodies and full bellies, the kids piled into the school room. They sang songs, heard Bible stories, and broke up into classes to learn math and English. “Auntie! Auntie!” one girl cried to me, “Please sign my homework!” Great Work, I wrote. She laughed nervously, grabbed her book, and ran outside to receive her simple lunch of rice and a boiled egg. For her, this was the only meal she would receive today. I took note as she packed up half of her meal to bring home to one of her siblings who didn’t get to come to school today.
Hungry. These kids were hungry. Not only for food, but for knowledge and for love. But as they piled back on the bus to return home, joy filled their faces. Today, someone had fed them.
The couple that lead this site Subir and Eunok have devoted their lives to feeding the hungry children of this city for the last twenty years. Each child’s mouth is fed with food, heart fed with love, soul filled with self-worth, and spirit fed with the truth and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Many of the children brought in from the slums would continue on to live at one of the boarding schools the site leaders have built. With nine schools and many more church plants, this couple has literally brought children off the streets and have taught them to be effective leaders, parents, pastors and teachers in their communities. Each time I asked, “How did this school come to be?” Subir always responded, “By the grace of God.”
On my last day at this site, I was reflecting with Eunok on all that I had witnessed during my short stay. “We definitely want to raise the next generation to be strong Christian leaders, engineers, doctors, and police officers,” she said. “But you know what? I’d be content if we could just raise them to be great moms and dads. That’s what this country really needs.”
As I boarded the plane home, my body was exhausted but my heart was filled with life. Holistic transformation.
That’s how Jesus did it.