“The biggest problem with poverty is the shame that comes with it.
When you give the best you have to someone in need, it translates into something much deeper to the receiver.
It means they are worthy.”
I recently read these words, and they struck me – hard.
Here in Ibiza, we have a lot of friends who live on the street and as a result we’re often the middle men for people wanting to give. Sometimes we get given wonderful stuff to give away, but other times we’re used as an easy rubbish tip, as people give their old, worn out items – their worst.
However, when we give our best, we’re saying, ‘you’re worth the best’, and they are! These friends are blessed children of God, made in His image, known intimately by Him, full of worth and value.
We cook regularly for our friends on the street, and as we’ve done this, other people have joined in too. We now have several people who provide dinner or lunch, and each person cooks their absolute best meal for the guys! And this translates; people are overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers who are becoming friends.
What touches and moves our homeless friends more is the love and effort poured into the dinners; much more than the meals themselves. At Christmas we cook a huge feast for the guys and hang out all day together – the kids play football, we wear ridiculous Christmas hats, eat chocolates, enjoy the traditional English Christmas dinner, talk, laugh, and celebrate! Each year people are blown away by the kindness and the love.
It always reminds me of one of 24-7 Ibiza’s foundational Bible verses:
“God’s kindness leads people towards repentance” – Romans 2:4
Our God is such a kind God, He gives us the best, His best. And as we, in our broken way, do the same, people experience something of His love, and they’re drawn to Him!
As I cook, I stir the pots of food and pray that the meals would bless so much more than bodies. We pack the dinners full of health and flavour, but the prayer is that the dinners bring healing and nourishment to souls as well as bodies.
And with the little we give, that God would multiply the impact; His impact. I regularly think of that little boy in the Bible, giving his loaves and fishes and Jesus doing something incredible. That’s our prayer here.
Find out more about 24-7 Ibiza on their website
Photo credit: Lydie Hampson