Mama Nathalie runs Hope House with her husband, Pastor Israel. Every day they live on faith, trusting that God will provide the money they need for rent and the food they need to eat. The kids all pray together that God will move someone's heart to give them even the basics that they need for survival.
Today when I arrived at Hope House, a young woman was there with her two small children. Mama Nathalie explained that her husband was a pastor in a village out past Bongolo and that the family is suffering. THen I watched as she and the kids filled a bag full of clothes and toys and gave the woman money for a taxi. Even 4-year-old Kenah, the youngest child at Hope House, helped by bringing out some of her own shoes to give away. And she seemed delighted to do it.
This isn't the first time that I've seen them do this. They continue to take in more children, even though they don't always know how they're going to feed or clothe the ones that they have. They pay a 17-year-old girl from their church to help cook and clean, even though they can't afford to, because they know that she is solely responsible for herself and her three younger siblings, and because without the money they give her, prostitution might be her only other option.
Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians. This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.~ 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, The Message