Nearly two years ago our church was lucky enough to have the Children of the World choir come perform. As a result, my family was able to host two of the young girls from the group at our home for the entire weekend. Their names were Angel and Irene. Angel was from Uganda and Irene was from the Philippines.
Angel was outgoing and rambunctious while Irene was quiet and reserved, but they both had smiles that were infectious.
The entire weekend was an absolute blast, but my favorite memory is from that Saturday night. We had decided to cook hamburgers and I was in the kitchen preparing the meat when Angel walked in. She watched intently and once she realized what I was doing, she smiled, cocked her head to one side and said, “Men cook?” (Probably not as often as my wife would like, Angel!)
What struck me most about the girls was how normal they were. When you stripped away the cultural differences, they were typical pre-teen girls…they giggled all the time, begged for candy and wanted to watch movies, loved to go shopping, could be a little sarcastic, talked constantly and asked questions about everything. (I’m also pretty sure they thought I was a big dork!)
Our daughter, who was only three at the time, followed them around the entire weekend. She still talks about Angel and Irene and we pray for them often.
By now I’m sure you are aware of the devastation in the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. The death toll is enormous already and sure to rise in the days to come.
The images from this catastrophic event are gut-wrenching and according to the Philippine government, more than two million people need food aid. People that, despite our cultural differences, are just like you and me.
When I first heard about the typhoon, I immediately thought of Irene. I pray that she and her family are safe and that she gets any help she may need. Because of her, I’m compelled to help even more than I would have been otherwise.
If you are looking for ways to help here are just a few organizations that are providing relief for the Philippines:
Please consider making a donation. I know its cliché, but really, no amount is too small. These organizations have the networks in place to help and your donation will increase their efforts. Please share these sites with others who may be looking for organizations to support as well.
Also, will you join me in praying for the Philippines? Pray for food, shelter, medicine, peace and comfort. Pray that people around the world will be moved to help.
You know, situations like this often seem so hopeless, but with God, there is always hope. There’s hope for me and you in our own lives and there’s certainly hope for the Philippines.
Would you consider being a part of that hope? I’m asking for a friend…