"Rich and poor have this in common:
The LORD is the Maker of them all" (Proverbs 22:2).
Sometimes I read romanticized ideas about poverty. I read about how a life of poverty is a simple life, even a life to be envied. But I don't quite buy into it. I have seen the stress of people in poverty. They wonder about their ability to care for their children. They worry about their ability to feed their children. They experience the fear of living in a hood filled with drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and gangs. They are not living in conditions to be envied.
Today, my wife Janet was teaching the 4-year olds in Bible class at church. One little boy said to her, "I was sad." Janet asked, "Why were you sad?" He responded, "We ran out of food."
The little boy, his siblings, and his mother attend the Contact Church on a regular basis. They are almost always present. His mother wants to be a good mother. She attended the class I taught last spring on the subject of biblical parenting. But the family struggles with problems that are difficult to solve. The mother has difficulties in finding and keeping a job. A responsible father is not in the picture. She wants to do the right thing for her family, but she needs help.
Thankfully, the Contact Church steps up to help such families. In addition to high-quality Bible teaching for parents and children, the church helps in physical ways. Each Sunday morning before Bible classes, anyone can come into the kitchen to get a donut (or two) and some juice. (Judy Babbit uses the opportunity to teach a little about the Bible when the children come to get donuts. Before they get a donut, she will ask them a question like, "How many books are in the Bible?" Then, even when they do not know the answer, she gives them a donut.) After the worship assembly, other local churches in our area usually provide a lunch in our kitchen for anyone who wants to stay and eat. Every Sunday, people who have nothing at home can come to the Contact Church and find some food and some love. In addition, our food bank provides food for hundreds of people throughout the week.
When I heard Janet's story about the little boy in her Sunday school class, I was sad too. But I was happy to be associated with a church that cares about little boys like him and families like his. He and his family were not hungry today.