This first week of Advent, we focus on a testimony of hope in the Lord. We pray that this devotion will encourage you and provide an opportunity for you to reflect on God’s gift of hope – whether individually or with your spouse, family or small group.
Psalm 25:1-5 (NIV)
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
He had a glimmer of hope when his uncle and family invited him to live with them in Blantyre, the nearest city. But his uncle lost his job and things got really bad for the family. They couldn’t feed their own 5 children, let alone help Alfred finish high school. Ndirande Evangelical Church saw the hardship the family was facing and stepped in.
“It was hopeless and I was so destitute because I could not help it.”
With Forgotten Voices’ help, the church paid Alfred’s fees so that he could finish school, but wanted to ensure that he and his family would be able to care for themselves into the future. They gave Alfred 2 sets of clippers and a small grant to setup his own barber shop. And they gave his aunt and uncle a small grant of $55 to setup a business selling rice. Both businesses are thriving. Alfred’s aunt says “Alfred has just those amazing business skills. We are now slowly being able to see some of [our] needs being met out of the profits of these businesses. In this way, we are even so hopeful that we will be able to fully meet the needs of our family.”
Alfred wants to become an engineer and is preparing for the entrance exams to university. “I was on the verge of giving up, but I knew deep down that God is always in control. I can still trust the same God who has seen me through secondary school to take care of all that concerns me, and I am not giving up. That is the message I always tell my fellow young people; we may lose parents or our loved ones – even not finding all we may want in life, but have confidence in God that He has everything in control.”
Our Hope is in God's Love
At Forgotten Voices, we believe God’s “Plan A” for caring for orphaned children is His local church. As we demonstrate the love of Jesus by equipping churches in southern Africa to meet the physical and spiritual needs of orphaned children, our hope is in God who always makes a way, just as he did when he sent his own Son.
Questions for Reflection
- When have you put your trust in God, even in the face of challenging circumstances?
- What does it look like for you to put your hope in the Lord today?
- In what ways are you (or your family) serving as a beacon of hope by testifying to the love of Christ – at school, at work, in your relationships, etc.?
- Alfred’s testimony has inspired his own community to love and care for more vulnerable children. How has it inspired you? How can you love and care for those around you, like Alfred’s church did?