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From Susan:One week ago I had the aaammmaazzzinng blessing of meeting Pomelo in Pretoria, South Africa. Pomelo's story goes like this: "I lived 3 years under a tree and kept praying, asking God to help me; finally, I threw away my Bible, because God didn't help me. Right after I threw it away, I met Gina. Then my life changed! Now I live in a beautiful place and I can see that I have a future! And she gave me another Bible, and this time, I am keeping it. Oh...and we need to finish talking by 5:15 so that I can get to church tonight!"
Pomelo lived in a small village about 90 kilometers from Pretoria. When he turned 16 he realized that he would never have a future in his village, and that he wanted to continue studying. His only choice was to go to the city--to Pretoria. So he bought a one-way ticket, taking his documents with him so that he could enroll in school, not really understanding how he could live. Knowing no one in Pretoria, and having no place to live, he chose to live on the street under a tree, behind the blue and white cardboard.
So we decided to move him to another home - now this is where he lives..."
This is what I saw and heard when Dominique introduced me to Gina and Pomelo only one week ago, over lunch at a beautiful little restaurant in the thriving city of Pretoria. Gina looks over at Pomelo and says with pride, "This is MY boy!" (This is just another wonderful example of what Beth wrote about last week!) Pomelo beams with a smile spreading from ear to ear.
"How do you feel when Gina calls you her boy?" I ask.
Pomelo replies, "I feel HAPPY....and PROUD! I never thought that I could live this kind of life. But it is because of God's love that I do."
"Tell me about some of the boys, your friends, who are still living on the streets," I ask.
"Their life is difficult. They are frustrated. They are confused. They do not know they can be loved."
Seeing how much we can learn from Pomelo, I ask, "How can believers help these other kids who are still on the streets?"
"It is simple. Tell them what life is all about.... help them figure out what they want in life. Give them a job. Some food. Something to make their life different....You know, I had been involved with sniffing glue and with smoking [weed]. Many of them still are. They have no hope. Then I thought of my life...where would I be in 5 years. I wanted to have a good life and saw I would never have a good life using drugs. One day when I came back from school I watched myself on the mirror in the garage where they let me take a shower, and I asked myself--am i going to drive a porsche with using drugs? Am i going to live in a mansion with drugs?
I knew that I would not be able to have a good life if I continued in this way, so I left it. If I would keep on with these drugs, then would not be able to take care of my family. This means I had to had to change my direction."
"Pomelo," I wonder, "What advice do you have for other belilevers who want to help kids like you?"
Immediately, Pomelo answers, "I say, give the kids your heart. If you really want to help others then it is in your heart. It takes love to change other people's life. Not only financial commitment, but love. It takes action. It takes love."
Then he asks Gina, "What time is it? We must go soon so that we can get to church."
So, Lord, we pray that "those who have believed, [all over the world,]....may be careful to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need." (Titus 3:8,14). Cause us to see what Pomelo sees, that it takes love.
Your love made visible.
In your people.
All over the world.
Amen and amen.