make a difference
July 4, 2018

The Ragpickers

By: Sudha Khristmukti [Gujarat, India]

At a garbage dump on the edge of town, cows, stray dogs, and pigs fight for scraps

of spoiled or leftover food discarded by crowded neighborhoods that have no waste disposal service. One day as I passed by on my way to work, I saw a mother and daughter from a nearby slum collecting plastic bags and scrap metal they could sell for a few rupees.

When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.
Deuteronomy 24:21 (NIV)

Dark clouds were gathering. Knowing that a downpour was imminent, I wanted to help. I turned my scooter around and headed back home. I returned with some fresh bread and boiled eggs as well as a thick sheet of plastic to shield them from the rain. After hesitantly accepting the gifts, they went back to sorting through the trash and filling up their sacks. I had to rush to work, but I prayed that the little I had done might bring a small bit of hope to their day.

PRAYER: May the poor be guided by your hand and the rich be kind enough to share their resources. May I learn to be generous and kind to everyone who enters my life. Amen.

Anna Carlson [Marshalltown, IA]

Keep it Simple

I remember the people who have offered a hug when I needed one, who have smiled at me or spoken kind words that made me feel valued. Perhaps their kindnesses felt insignificant to them, but they have meant the world to me. In the same way, we can be generous with our time and our gifts. We can bless others with something as simple as a tissue or a listening ear. We can write a note or speak words of encouragement. Who needs your help today?

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