A Note from Rick and Noreen Lawson

One of the first things that comes to mind when walking through the favela of Cambuim are the words of the Lord Jesus, “For you will have the poor with you always” (Matthew 11:6). But just how poor is poor? I went through streets of dirt and litter. The walls of the homes that lined the streets were an assortment of trash and scraps of wood, serving as a shelter for these poor people. The river that wound its way through the village consisted of runoff waste-water with a smell that stopped me in my tracks. 

The word “poor” is defined as having little or no money, goods, or other means of support. This brief list can never describe the feelings and emotions felt when actually meeting the faces of these people that survive in these conditions. Going on about how sad the situation is would only be repeating what has all ready been reported on this website. Instead let’s focus on the positive.

In Matthew 26:6 the Lord is found in the home of Simon the Leper. A woman of Bethany is there having an alabaster box of precious ointment and has poured it on the Lord’s head to anoint him for his burial. The gospel of John tells us that He was there with Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead, and that, “…many Jews went away, believing on the Lord Jesus” (John 12:1,11).This is the goal of the effort that is taking place in Cambuim. To show these destitute people the way to the Lord so they might also believe in Him.

We also read in the gospel of Mark, “She (Mary) has done what she could” (Mark 14:8). In Cambuim, attempting to give out a few sandwiches, a little juice, first aid, and some donated clothes in order to pass on God’s Word is all we can do. God has to do the rest.

God has promised a blessing in this work. For the Lord spoke of feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and said, “inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).


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