Friday, October 31, 2014

Tough Love from St. Paul about Taking Care of One's Family

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

-1Timothy 5:8, and cited in today's reading in Stott's Through the Bible, Through the Year, at page 91.

I see this ethic applied among all classes of people, notably (at least to me) among the immigrant families here in Miami.

At the recent Annual Dinner hosted by Heartbeat of Miami, we heard a testimony from a young woman who, with the help of her mother at age 16, fled sexual abuse in Nicaragua from a man who threatened to kill her and her parents if she told them and the authorities about the abuse.  She came to the US in the way many of the Central American children come here that we read about:  She made the journey across Mexico, waded the Rio Bravo, was taken into custody by INS, but had an aunt in Miami who would take her in.  Say what you will about the government authorities, they gave the young woman bus fare and she finally arrived here, to be sheltered by her kinswoman and, from there, introduced to the Christian community that works with Heartbeat, her larger family.  Unknown to herself at the time that she fled her country, the man in Nicaragua had impregnated her.

When the INS gave her a physical examination, they discovered her pregnancy and a social worker advised her to get an abortion, telling her "Every time you look at that baby's face, you will see the evil that has been done to you."   The young woman refused.  Heartbeat helped her.  She said at the Heartbeat Dinner that when she looks into the face of her baby, now 2 years old and there with us at the dinner, she sees the face of Jesus.

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