They stood near the door of Safeway, a Safeway I rarely frequent. A man and his son. The man held a sign saying
No money for rent or food.
Jesus loves you.
I wondered whether this was another scam, but approached them with a smile beneath my mask. “Do you know Jesus?”
It was the son who replied. “He’s my Lord.” I told them Jesus is my Lord too, and asked what they needed. The son told me they needed gift cards to buy food for the rest of the family at home. He and his father had just eaten.
“Ok, I’ll be back,” I promised.
Taking my groceries to the cashier, I asked for a gift card, then handed it to the boy as I exited the store.
“I am Carol. What are your names?” I asked.
The older man was Johnny; the younger, Dennis. He was thirteen.
I asked more about them. The family is from Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. It is located between the Ukraine (where my father was born) and Romania.
What made this meeting even more of a God-moment is that dear friends, Walt and June McCuistion, had a significant teaching ministry in Moldova for several years after the country declared its independence from Russia in 1991, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. As Moldova declared their indepence, Walt became acquainted with some of the country’s leaders (certainly divine appointments!).
“Coming out of communism, we have no system of morality. Can you teach us morality?” they asked.
Walt said he would, using the Bible as his textbook. They agreed.
We prayed for the country as it tried to find its way out of communism.
“We don’t want to be here, begging,” Dennis told me. “But my father lost his job two weeks ago and we don’t have enough to pay the rent and buy food.”
I promised Don and I would pray for them and their family, and for a new job for Johnny. They thanked me multiple times, asking God to bless me.
And He did! Sometimes I feel tight on money because of bills I know are coming; but this family needed that gift card so much more than we do! It was a precious God moment, given by a loving Shepherd who loves and guides me, and who loves this family who was doing what was necessary to care for each other.
I don’t often give money to people on the street or outside a store. But on occasion, and this was one, it seems the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, our Good Shepherd, puts it on my heart to respond. And when He does, I want to listen and obey.
One day Johnny, Dennis, and their family will be with Don and me, and many of you, in heaven. While many of us have enjoyed sweet repast with family and friends this week, Psalm 23:5-6 promises so much more.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.Psalm 23:5-6
I pray God’s goodness and mercy for this family now; but know that one day, the trials they face will fade in the presence of our good God, who Shepherds His flock with love and care. And what joy when we have the privilege of being part of His avenue of blessing to someone in need.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.Galatians 6:10 NIV