IMG_0140There are only 124 shopping days until Christmas.  I bought some of these back from Kenya when I was there a few years back and always get a reaction from folks who see them.  These manger scenes are made of corn silk and old pieces of rag and I love them.  Everyone is a bit unique but Jesus always ends up looking like E.T.  Anyway I spent some time with the women who made these.  She can make several a day and gets the equivalent (at that time) of about 25 cents a piece.  I bought some for about $4 and brought some home and sold them for a lot more.  I have seen them in shops now for about $15.  There is a life on a page.  A women whose name I don’t know works to make less than a dollar a day and tries to feed her family and raise enough money to send her children to school.  That is her life and she has joys and sorrows and all kinds of issues that the rest of us have and that is her life.  She trusts in Christ as Savior and wants her children to grow up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Her husband is gone (whether he left forever our was just off somewhere looking for work I never found out) but there is her life.  With all that she has going on what is her greatest concern?  That her children will not be educated or if they are they will loose their faith.

Project 24 was meant to help at risk children like hers.  We called them Orphan Rescue Centers but that may have caused some misunderstanding.  It wasn’t a mistake but there was more to the idea.  They were boarding centers for children who may have been orphaned, who had one parent or other situations that made them “at risk”.  The idea was a place to stay and be cared for while they went to school, learned about Jesus and were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Project 24 was embraced as needed by government authorities, partner church officials and others who lived in the culture.  It was attacked by white people and theologians as being culturally insensitive which I have always found to be fascinating.

There was a plaintive question asked by a high official of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod that I am still trying to answer – “why would anyone be upset about trying to help orphans?”  It is a good existential question.

Psalm 10:14 says “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”