“Impossible,” they said. “You’ll be killed!”
But Mother Teresa refused to believe them, and refused to back down. It was during a time of seemingly endless military conflict in Lebanon. Heavy bombing had trapped thirty-seven “special needs” children in a hospital deep inside the war-torn city of Beirut, Lebanon.
“They are as good as dead, “ said some. “Let them die,” said others.
Because the fighting still continued, no one was willing to risk an attempt to rescue the children. No one, that is except Mother Teresa. When she heard of the plight of the thirty-seven children, she did not hesitate.
A frail-looking old woman, Mother Teresa stood only four-feet, eleven-inches tall and weighed less than 100 pounds. But she was a small woman with great love, and she would not sit idly by while these children became just another story of the devastation of war. She determined to let nothing stop her from saving those little ones-not bombs, not guns, and certainly not people telling her it was too risky.
Mother Teresa quickly flew to Beirut and immediately began making arrangements for the rescue. She informed everyone that she would go into the city the next day, ‘When the fighting stops.” It was then that she planned to bring out the children.
People looked at her in disbelief, possibly muttering “crazy” under their breath. Love or no love, they knew that there would be no break in the fighting-it had been going on for months! And it seemed that they were right. The fighting continued. Through the night and into the morning, bullets and bombs raged until…
At precisely the time Mother Teresa had indicated, peace fell over the city. Guns were silent; bombs were held at bay. Unshaken despite the opposition to her cause, Mother Teresa boarded an ambulance, drove deep in to the war zone and brought all thirty-seven children out of the danger and into safety. Only after her work was finished did the fighting resume.
Mother Teresa once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” She proved that with her life and her willingness to risk her life for the sake of love. (Adapted from Just Plan- it for Students, Group Publishing)
In the days following the home-going of twelve year old Jennifer the young teen I wrote about last week, there has been has been an awakening in our community, to rescue our children and youth. The battle for their lives is raging as strongly as the bullets in Lebanon, but God’s people are responding in faith and love…..
Our pastor had just finished a series of messages on LOVE, when we heard the news about Jennifer. Through her death we were given a very real opportunity to impact our community with love…
- Two believers from our church visited Jennifer’s family to comfort them. The family shared they had nowhere for a memorial for Jennifer. Our pastors made Avalon Church available and at short notice shared a beautiful message in Jennifer’s memory, honoring her and her family, and bringing hope in Jesus to the teens, teachers and friends who attended.
- The Youth ministry made Photos of all the youth in our church community. This Sunday, our church family each took a photo to pray for a teen for a month. The Lord gave me a precious girl and boy, both of single parent families. Jennifer’s death, has made praying for these young teens important to me.
- Through Love UnVeiled we are starting a four week series next week called LUV for Teens; an invitation to teenage girls in our community to experience God’s love and His answers to the difficult questions affecting them in their generation.
- One of our prayer partners has started Walk for Love. We have come together to invite others to join us on a weekly prayer walk in our community. We can do no great things – only small things with great love.
In our world of fear and uncertainty, I have been so proud to part of God’s family this week. I was proud of our pastors, and the youth ministry and the women who visited Jennifer’s home. The love of God changes things, it takes risks, it heals, it goes into the dark and difficult places of the heart to bring light and hope to those who are desperately hurting.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16