Proverbs 19:17 (ESV)
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.
Imagine going for a leisurely stroll after a week of heavy rain. The air feels fresh, and nature rejoices all around, as testified by the myriad of heavenly tunes emanating from the throats of hundreds of birds in your neighborhood.
Your precious bride is at your side, and she, too, is excited with this turn of events. She begins sharing her deepest desires, and getting caught up in the excitement of the moment, she punctuates her speech with animated gestures. Suddenly her lovely diamond ring, the same one that you gave her, flies off of her finger, landing on a well-marinated pile of mud, where it quickly sinks out of sight.
What would you do? Why, you wouldn't hesitate to reach your hand down into that mud and retrieve it for her! You might keep your eyes closed, but a little bit of mud won't stop you from helping get back what is precious to her!
Why, then, is it, that we hesitate to help the priceless children around the world who are suffering from extreme poverty? After all, doesn't God urge us: "There need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you," (Deuteronomy 15:4, NIV2)?
They are as helpless as that precious ring that went flying into the pile of mud. How could any of us survive with less than 37$ a month? Yet 1.4 billion face this reality month after month, with no hope in sight. Some are so desperate that they make mud patties in order to survive. Many live on the streets because they can't afford rent. Imagine your own children wasting away in front of your eyes! How can they receive the care they need when disease hits them?
The St. James Anglican church in Ingersoll, Ontario, under the leadership of Rev. Meghan Evetts, wanted to reach "down in the mud" to rescue these precious jewels of God. It was brought to their attention that Mozambique was one of the poorest countries in the world, and they wanted to do something about this. They discovered that those needing medical care often have to walk over dirt roads for more than 30 miles to reach their nearest medical facility. Many succumbed on the way, or arrived even sicker than when they started out on their trek.
Pregnant women faced nightmares in such circumstances. Statistics say that as many as 490 of every 100,000 pregnant women died in childbirth in Mozambique, as compared to 12 of every 100,000 births in Canada. Could anything be done about this?
That little church in Ingersoll joined in the endeavors that had been taken up by other parishes, focusing on providing those who are sick or pregnant in Mozambique with a means of transportation, something that could easily be fixed if broken down. The idea they came up with was "bicycle ambulances". At a cost of $600 each, these bicycles would bring much needed relief. More than $25,000 has been raised so far for this cause, and Canada's foreign aid agency, the CIDA, has provided another $75,000. About 70 Bicycle ambulances have been delivered so far, and another 50 are on their way.
Since the introduction of these special ambulances, maternal mortality rates have dropped by 15% in Mozambique. As a result, Bangladesh would now like to try these ambulances as well. They have thought up a little "twist", however: wouldn't three wheels make for sturdier vehicles than two? As a result, Tricycle ambulances have now come into existence!
It all started in 2008 by funding one bicycle ambulance. Just ONE BICYCLE AMBULANCE! Imagine what would happen if we all helped the extreme poor! They are, after all, more precious in the Lord's eyes than all the diamond rings in the world!
Dear Lord, help our eyes be open to those around us that we could help. Give us each a caring heart to help those that aere in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.