I have been very encouraged this week by a young lady here at the hospital. Her faith has challenged mine. I have known her now for about 3 weeks and she has been very slow to open up. She is a very timid young lady who I desire to see blossom. I was talking to her a few weeks ago and found out some days she wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch because they didn’t have any food, so I bought her some food. The basic staples here are very simple: rice, beans and manteca. She was very excited to have the food, but especially the manteca as she said they had run out and she didn’t have any money to buy more. They use manteca here for everything because it’s cheap. It also is one of the main reasons for high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes (or at least that’s my theory).
I was talking with this same young lady yesterday as we had some one on one time cleaning urine cups of all things. I asked her when she became a believer and was baptized which I found out was about 3 years ago. As we continued talking, she told me that she felt like God wanted her to give her entire first paycheck to Him. That is such a huge sacrifice for someone here who makes as little as they do. Just to give you a little background of about how much they make in a month…the average salary for someone out here in the campo (the name of where we are, where the majority of people are poor and uneducated). Minimum wage here is just over $200/month which means they make about $50/week or $10/day. Could you imagine working for around $1.25 an hour? And this is considered good pay out here in the campo. So, she is saying yes Lord, I will give you the only $100 that I have and trust you to provide. She needs closed toed shoes for work as she only has sandals right now which are not good for the mile and a half walk she has to and from work everyday or for the work that she has. Her two children have needs as I know she has not had money to buy them clothes or shoes in a very long time. Her husband works some milking cows and gets paid around $50 when he has work, but that work is few and far between. Her family has great needs, but she knows that the Lord knows her needs.
Proverbs 3:5-10 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
This truly is a picture of someone giving the first fruits of their labor and giving out of her poverty. She is giving all that she has to the Lord and trusting Him to provide for her and her family. She reminds me of the shortly mentioned story Jesus tells in Luke 21:1-4 about the poor widow giving more than the rich man. If you don’t know this story, I would encourage you to read it.