God Speaks in the Wee Hours

Tuesday, November 26

11-26By Karen Moreland of Independence, Missouri

God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a

Working the night shift, I would arrive home in the wee hours of the morning. It was hard to unwind. Watching television was one way to relax. One night I watched a documentary about children living in poverty. My heart ached for their plight. I decided to respond to the plea and sponsor a child. I marked my money should be applied “where needed most.”

Soon a picture arrived of a young girl in Ethiopia named Tigist. Two years later, my own daughter suddenly passed away and I decided to sponsor a second child. I kept dreaming about a young infant crying and crying. I felt many emotions when I received the information packet and a picture of a young Ethiopian boy named Dessalegn. This was the child I had known in my dreams.

Shortly after, one of my co-workers had an opportunity to visit Africa with his church group. They were going to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I was anxious to talk to him when he returned. I asked if my dollars were specifically helping the struggling families and children in Ethiopia. The young man planned to stay three weeks in Africa, but returned after one. He explained that he had never seen such destitute poverty and food was so scarce he could not cope in those living conditions. I asked, “Is my support needed?” and his reply was “Oh yeah, they need all the help they can get.”

I feel blessed that God led me to share my plenty with children in far off lands that they, too, would find blessings. That was 13 years ago, and I still sponsor both children in Ethiopia. I feel led to continue Christ’s mission of compassion.

Prayer for Peace
Open my heart, God, to feel compassion for your suffering children. Open my ears to hear their cries.

Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Let your mind be drawn to places where people have no homes. Think of refugees whose homes were destroyed by war or natural disaster. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who are suffering. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying, “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will respond to Christ’s mission of compassion.

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2 Comments

  1. Susan Gregory

     /  27 November 2013

    Karen, thank you for sharing your experience. Powerful to know that we can truly change lives. Hi from your friends in the Pacific Northwest!

  2. Diane Akers

     /  26 November 2013

    What a beautiful, compassionate story——–what a loving woman!

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