Smokey Mountain is the term coined for a large landfill located in Manila, Philippines. The area was cleared decades ago and became the site of numerous public housings for the impoverished people living in the slums surrounding the landfill. The slums were also cleared, which was the home of 30,000 people that make their living from picking through the landfill's rubbish.
A CNN report wrote an article about her experience at Smokey Mountain:
It's this looming mass of decomposed rubbish, standing more than 20 meters high. From a distance it looks like an enormous mound of Earth, almost of equal height to the towers that stand next to it, but on closer inspection you can see the layers of plastic bags, tires and bottles all squashed together -- the remains of 50 years of Manila's trash.
A few weeks ago, Wai Jia had a sudden burden for Smokey Mountain. She visited there a few years ago with a friend. The same friend is now serving there full time. She received news that the kids had very yellow eyes and not sure what's the illness (or the cause). I felt this is like the Macedonia calling. We've been discussing and wondering what we can do. Yet where we like to help, the doors were closed.
It was a Sunday afternoon. We sat and we prayed for Smokey. We didn't know what to do and we just told God that we are available and like to help. He just had to open doors for us.
A few doors were open. Wai Jia was able to get leave in last minute notice. I was able to get our tickets online. Just last night, a doctor gave us a bunch of multivatimins for the kids.
Since we got married and the past few months, I've been re-discovering what it means to follow Jesus. What it means to depend solely on Him. I was medidating on a verse in Genesis 18 when God appeared before Moses and Sarah. God told them they would have a child next year. Sarah didn't believed it. In return, God said...
Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)
Jesus is drawing me once again. To follow Him. Just as He called the disciples. Peter, John, Matthew. Just follow Him. Not to worry about what to eat or what to wear. Not to worry about money or other things. Follow Him.
Living in Singapore, there's a tendency for me to become complacent. Wai Jia and I spent a lot of discussing and praying where God will take us. When will we 'help' the poor. How do we love our neighbours who live below the poverty line?
Going to Smokey Mountain we don't know what God will show us next. We are ready to be use by Him. We are ready to follow Him. We are ready to give stuff up (they are a blessing from Him, anyways).
And so here we go. Tomorrow afternoon. Wai Jia. Me. A suitcase fill with mutlivitmains that will last for two months or so. We don't know what God will do. But what we pray for is for Christ to show up in the darkness. We pray for His Spiriti to work through us to show His Glory in the midst of poverty. We pray for Him to work in our hearts. More compassion. More mercy. More grace.
Let's focus on the weightier matter of the law...justice, mercy and faithfulness. To spend on behalf of the afficted. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ. To love our neighbours as ourselves.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. (Matthew 23:23)
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
Wai Jia wrote a post about this experience. You can read it here.