Monday, January 14, 2008

The Gift

His name is Marquis. He is a homeless drug addict, and he is my friend. He is only 21 years old, but the past six years of life on the streets makes him look much older. Like many of the others, he came to the mission house looking for food, clothing, soap, toothbrush, and anything else we have to give him.

He arrived shortly after the mission team left; actually we were all still cleaning-up. Lil’ Victor noticed him sitting on the steps outside the team house, and came to get me. He gave me a hug and we spoke for a moment. I asked if he was hungry. His eyes grew wide with excitement as he grinned. He explained that he hadn’t eaten in two days.

I went to get a plate of food from the kitchen. I returned and handed him the plate of food, and he ferociously started to consume everything! I don’t even think he was chewing, only swallowing. Victor and I smiled at each other, and we were both laughing on the inside. I was actually thinking “I hope this guy doesn’t choke”. Partly, because I’m a very sensitive a caring guy…yeah right! It was more the fact…that I didn’t want to have to do CPR on this guy!

Probably not wanting to have to do CPR either, Victor pointed out the gift. Someone on the mission team had left an unopened bottle of Coke, inconspicuously sitting on the steps in front of the mission house; somehow unnoticed, hidden in plane sight. A note was attached to the top of the bottle with a rubber-band. It was a small gift that God was going to use to make a big way.

We explained that the gringo missionaries had left him the coke as a gift. The chewing stopped. I could tell his mind was racing. He was wondering how this could happen. No one on knew he was coming by the mission how could they know to leave him a gift?

He slowly opened the note and written in English - Thank you for taking this, we love you and God loves you. He slowly handed it to me so I could read it to him. As I read it his eyes began to swell with tears. I handed the note back to him, and he carefully folded it and slipped it into his front pocket.

When he had finished eating, Victor and I prayed with him, and for him. He explained that he used to know God was there, but lately he was starting to doubt. Then he explained that last night he had prayed to God for some sort of sign…and today he got this letter.

Through this experience I learned to never underestimate how God is going to use random simple acts of love. He is the one who is busy working all things together for good. He takes our small and seeming insignificant gifts, multiplies them and uses them in mighty ways.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008