We were in Malawi. It was a warm day in June when we arrived in Fombe village in the Shire river valley. Though this was a river valley there was no running waters or tributaries in this village.
We approached a home where a mother of four was busy preparing her family’s daily meal. She cooked over a large open air fire just to the right of her home. We approached and setup a meeting spot to conduct our interview.
I’ll never forget asking her to show us her nighttime light source. She came from her home and brought me a very small
single light. The light was connected to a group of batteries which were themselves tied together in some form or fashion. This was her total light source for her family. She spent between $7-12 a month replacing the batteries for a light that was no more than an 1/8th of what Americans might use as a night light in their home.
In the book of Genesis, Abraham approaches God and says, “When will I have a child?” In the moment I felt like this woman would have asked God, “Will I have a future?”
The Old Testament repeatedly upholds God’s promise to provide a place and a home. How fundamental are those needs for too many of our brothers and sisters. Will God provide them a place of abundance, a place where they can raise their children’s children in peace and safety? Will a future emerge for the people of Malawi?
Hope is the lifeblood of any community. As Christians we are taught to place our hopes in the Risen Lord. We are taught to set our problems and our needs before the Trinity. We are also told that God hears the cries of the brokenhearted and the widow, the orphan, and the marginalized. We know that God will arise and defend their cause.
This Advent will we awaken to the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world. Will we have the courage to step in the gap and be the true reflection of the Son of God. Will we follow Jesus and provide tangible hope and love to those seeking a future.
Alexei Laushkin is the Vice-President for the Evangelical Environmental Network. Please check out the rest of the Advent Devotionals by clicking here.