We have been busy equipping refugee children to begin their new school year next week. To do this, we supplied brand new back packs, basic school supplies, uniforms where needed, gently used clothing for the teen girls (don't need uniforms) and new school sport shoes. I can't wait to see them line up to catch the bus on Monday morning with their heads held high. Since some of the Bhutanese youth have opted to not attend school at all and are roaming about getting in trouble with the police, anything we can do to encourage them to go to school is needed.
There has also been an increase in ladies coming on Thursday for items not supplied by government assistance, but necessary for proper hygiene. The Dollar Tree is a great resource for laundry detergent and dish soap, and Target is a great resource for diapers in large quantity already divided and packaged for easy distribution. We all have learned a lot about meeting needs and loving with the love of Christ.
But Satan has been causing disturbances with the Christian and Hindu Bhutanese population. It was rewarding to me to hear one of the Hindus say "Margie Mom" treats everyone the same. That is exactly what the Lord spoke into my spirit several years ago. It is easy to love my brothers and sisters, but more difficult to love those who worship idols and are not seeking Him.
The hardest question I have received came from an elementary student. She said, "You teach us to honor our parents and obey them." Yes ,that is true, I said. Then she said "But we want to follow Jesus and they tell us to follow Daegan and Lama (probably a reference to the Buddhist who are Tibetan and follow the Dalai Lama)." Then they proceeded to tell me how the parents told them that all gods are the same and Daegan and Jesus were friends, etc, etc., and then they changed the subject to reincarnation. So, I shared the story of the rich man and Lazarus. One girl looked very disturbed. So, I said, you pray to God and ask Him to show you who is real. She said "I don't know how to pray." So we had a brief "prayer lesson" and she bowed her head and prayed the most sincere prayer. A week later, she came to me glowing. She said she prayed to Daegon, Lama, and Jesus and Jesus was the only one Who answered. Then she prayed that Jesus would protect her from a beating when she told her mom she wanted to be Christian, and He did.
Thank you so much for your support. The money you send helps support the ministry van and allows me to take donations to the families and pay expenses (it currently needs $1,000 in repairs). Without that support, I could not afford the gasoline and expenses to travel the 35 miles to St. Cloud Apartments. I am also grateful for the funding for food. More and more families are in need of rice and fresh vegetables. Last month we served at least 20 families that did not have food stamps. I expect more this month.
You are such a blessing to me. I wish I could share specifics, like names of the children that want to follow Jesus and pictures etc, but it is too dangerous for them. The Holy Spirit knows and I just ask that you pray for them to be safe and that their faith be strong in the face of persecution from family and friends and community.