Giving Voice to the Voiceless
Saturday - October 31st
Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 31:1-31
Speak up for those who
cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all
who are destitute.
Throughout my ministry career, I have met wonderful people who give voice to the voiceless. Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." We can do that all around the world and right here in the United States. I've known several passionate about Crisis Pregnancy Centers that helped women with an unwanted pregnancy discover the preciousness of the life in their wombs. The way they care for the women, the babies to be born, and then walk the journey ahead with these women gives voice to an unborn child and their mother.
Others have cared about children in Africa left behind by parents killed by war or by AIDS. These orphans often become mixed in with children in a community, and no one recognizes that they have no home or parents. But, local pastors and their wives willingly bring these children into their homes. These gracious servants of God often don't have the food, home space, or other resources to bring more children into their families - but they do it anyway. They love these kids that could have been swept away by the greed, lust, and violence of the seedy side of the culture. Talk about defending the rights of the poor and marginalized!
In the largest slum of Central America, I met people who serve Costa Rican children and their families sacrificially. They take food and other supplies to meet the needs of people who live in squalor. One of the saddest factors of the slum in the center of San Juan is that the young girls are often prostituted out by their own parents to help their families survive. The average age of a prostitute in this section of Costa Rica is 10-12 years of age. Watching the missionaries and other Christian workers investing their time, energy, and love in these girls and their families moved me deeply. These dedicated folks brought rescue and hope in Jesus' name.
Years ago, when I was in India, we visited a truly unique outdoor restaurant near the northern border with Nepal. What made this place so different wasn't the building, the location, or the menu. It was who they hired as servers. A young American couple started a Non-Government Organization (NGO) that expressed itself with this restaurant that hired and told the stories of women burned with acid by their husbands. In India, if a man wants to reject his wife, he throws acid in her face. Because she has lost her beauty, the marriage is dissolved.
The horrific act of these husbands leaves these women unlovable and unmarriable. But, this compassionate couple and their partners raise awareness of the plight of these women. On the walls of the restaurant are posters. They display the story of each woman along with her picture. When no one else would employ these marred women, this couple hired them to serve tables.
These examples of people standing up for the marginalized have inspired me to have my eyes and heart open to the needs of folks around me every day. Whether advocating for fostering or adopting children, supporting the efforts of rescue missions, or working with ministries serving the homeless and hungry, there are many ways to help the marginalized and give voice to the voiceless here and all around the world.
What are you doing to give voice to the voiceless? How are you speaking up for the marginalized?