Thursday, October 6, 2016

Turkey Committee

Several months back my little village church started a new project. I really like being a part of it and have lots of pictures in my camera so I want to share with you. The church selected several church members to be on a "Turkey Committee." Then we sat together and vulnerable community members were selected to receive turkeys. These included orphans, needy widows and HIV positive people who lived (mostly) within walking distance of the church.  All of the selected individuals are considered poor by people who live on two dollars a day. So you know they are the most desperate.

Those people were informed that they had been selected to receive a pair of turkeys and they needed to come to church and be trained in the care of them. This got them in the door.
Dr. Daniel, the facilitator of the project, then discussed feeding, care and breeding of turkeys. He started with biblical stewardship and also told them about how the church desires them to be successful in this program so will be coming to their homes to check on them. 

Turkeys were then distributed. Turkeys are a great protein source but also a good income as they can sell offspring. A male and female pair will make a significant difference for a family struggling with food or who needs a little more income to purchase medications.
Now, once a month the committee members go visit the homes of recipients. They check up on the animals but more importantly they also sit down with these community members, talk with them about their challenges, pray with them and offer words of encouragement. I have seen several of the recipients cry when they get visited.  Lonely widows and stigmatized folks with HIV feel valued and surprised when we come to their home.
I'm happy to report most of the turkeys are already becoming fruitful and multiplying.
One Sunday morning a few weeks back we visited two recipients who live too far to come to our church but they have a tiny church where they can pray. They invited us out and asked us to join them in worship. Unfortunately, that means I had to preach but the Holy Spirit used it and I think it was one of the better sermons I've given. Lois testified how God knew she needed these turkeys and gave them because He loves her. She got up and danced to show how happy she was. 

After the service we were invited back to her house where we all sat and ate oranges while she made us tea and hard boiled eggs. Hospitality is such an important part of life here. This elderly widow is poor and crippled and uses a stick to walk but worked so hard to make us something to eat.

After eating Charles and I were asked again to "bring a word of encouragement".  This means another sermon.  Practically the whole church had followed us to Lois' house so we had a captive audience. They asked all sorts of questions about what we had talked about in the sermon and Charles had a chance to share about freedom and grace. 

These are two of the recipients, Lois on the right and Itabu on the left. Itabu is HIV positive and has been very sick several times but right now is doing better. Both are so appreciative of these birds. Itabu recommitted his life to Christ and another committee member talked with him about his fear of death due to HIV. 

 Several participants excitedly tell us about how many eggs have been laid or if their hen is sitting on a nest. Lois practically dragged me into her tiny bedroom so show me that her hen is sitting on a nest practically where Lois' pillow would be (if she had one.)

This is an encouraging program to be a part of because it is Christ's body, the church, taking care of people who really need it. My church is seeing how important reaching out to the most vulnerable is.

Would you be praying for the committee members?  Taking time to go visiting is hard for people who are already working every day for their next meal. Also pray for the recipients. I could tell you about Penecas who is weak and old and senile and his family is struggling to care for him as best they can. For Janet, Dinah and Naomi who are all old widows without family to help them. For Mary who is alone with nine children, two of whom are sick. For Simon, Deborah and Justin who are living with HIV. May we be the light of Christ in their lives.

1 comment:

deeps said...

you are a nurse on God's duty...