Today, February 9, was our first full day in Bangladesh - which seems funny because we left on Wednesday, February 7 from San Francisco at 9:30 am and arrived at our hotel in Dhaka around midnight on February 8, having only witnessed one sunset. The stars were bright as we flew into Bangladesh and the sliver of moon smiled at us, and we know it is also smiling at you on your side of the world, though Oregon may not be able to see it through the snowy sky.
Our morning devotions were rich as we studied the words of Luke in The Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-31). In this passage, Luke exhorts us to "consider the lilies" (and the ravens) - and not to worry about how we will be fed or clothed, but to trust that God will provide. The similar theme of the story of the loaves and the fishes, and the feeding of 5000 is so significant it is repeated in all four gospels, Robin informed us. It is hard to trust that God will provide when we see so many of the poor in need, but Luke's passage also reminds us that "life is more than food" and we should strive for "his kingdom".
We hope to learn more of this approach as we prepare to meet tomorrow with World Vision staff here in Dhaka and with children sponsored by the church and Vision Team members. George Sarkar, World Vision Donor Liaison, who met us at the airport late last night and spent the day with us, reflected that in his experience, the poor will always share what they have with others.
So, with joy we spent our afternoon gathering pantry items to support the families of the sponsored children, and school supplies for the children. Team members also brought gifts from home for family members of these children. Tomorrow we will have several visits with different family groups and pass along the gifts. I will have the privilege of meeting and passing gifts to Sabrina, the 5 year old girl sponsored by the preschool class of Lake Grove Presbyterian Church. I look forward to sharing stories of my, and other, sponsor visits with you tomorrow!
George told us that he often gets the question from villagers who are recipients of World Vision's attention and programmatic support: "What do you want from us?". He replies "We want you to enjoy the fullness of life".