"Some years ago, when [Andriy] came to church, he looked and was dressed awfully. Pastor Misha was so sad [...] He took off his shoes and gave it to Andrei. It was just one and last pair of shoes that our pastor had. Later [...Andrei] said: "I was so ashamed, I felt terrible, but no one helped me, only your pastor took off your shoes and gave it to me."
Reading this, I sat in silence. When Andriy said he felt ashamed, I know I cannot begin to imagine this feeling. Yet, how many other orphans face the same shame? As Bible Orphan Ministry shares, how many orphans die before the age of thirty?
Though there were many other people who could have helped Andriy, but he himself said it was only the pastor who helped. He took the shoes off his feet and gave them to Andriy. This is the truth of following Christ. If it is in our power to help someone - will we? You may say: "Yes, we should help others. But this is an extreme case I won't come across in my life."
What if the Lord is waiting for us to "go and visit the orphans and widows in their distress?" (James 1:27). We have the resources - five dollars, ten dollars. Maybe the Lord is calling us to give of ourselves.
The pastor didn't have to give his own shoes. But when God placed a need in front of him, he responded, truly following Proverbs 3:28. "If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, "Come back tomorrow, and then I'll help you." Has the Lord placed a need in front of us? Have we responded, or tried to ignore it and go on our way?
Thank you to those who helped pay Andriy's funeral costs. He accepted Christ the day before he died! Please read this post from BOM. Our friends shared these words from Andriy's brother Misha: "Dear friends, thank you for your help and prayers. I felt very strongly that you were praying for me for my brother. Thank you friends for your financial help. And thanks for the prayers again! It's very hard to talk for me now. Friends, thank you for everything! Amen."
Pictured: Misha is in the gray shirt.