“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” Matthew 25:40
When I answered the phone, Mary told me we needed to visit our new neighbor. She suspected that all was not well.
We were experiencing one of the worst winters we had had in years. It was very cold and the snow drifts were deep, but Mary and I put on our boots and winter coats and trudged down the long driveway to visit Sabina.
Sabina was sick. She was in bed and her three pre-school children were sitting around listlessly. The dishes and laundry hadn’t been looked after for many weeks. We didn’t know if the children had been fed. We had no idea how to contact her husband but we knew she was in a serious depression. We fed the children, washed the dishes and did the laundry. Elisabeth Elliott often said,
“If you don’t know what to do – do the next thing.”
That is what we did.
Hours later, as we walked home, we agreed that she needed professional help so we made some phone calls. The next day, a social worker came to see her, Sabina told me later that week that she would be going to a hospital for treatments. We told her we would take the children and look after them while she was recovering. Katie, one neighbor, took care of the 12 month-old Thomas, Mary took the three year-old boy Martin and five year old Marlene came to live with us.
For three weeks we didn’t hear from the father or mother. The children adapted quickly and blossomed in the stable, happy homes where love abounded.
Soon after that, their father came to see us and told us he would be flying the children to the country of their grandparents. They would be living with them from now on. We saw the children only once after that when he brought them to Canada for a visit. When Sabina was able, she also moved. We never saw her again.
Three Christian neighbors were there and available when Sabina and the children needed help. I am positive that God directed us to see her that day – He loved her and the children. And in fact, we were doing it unto the Lord.
My challenge today is this. When God impresses you to help someone in need – do it. Perhaps God has put you in a neighborhood or workplace for “such a time as this.”
Father, help us to be alert to Your promptings to help those who need encouragement, need prayer, financial help or emotional help. Then help us to follow Your direction. Amen.