The Love Cup

I recently returned from another amazing trip to Haiti.  This particular mission our team visited the Hands and Feet Project in Jacmel.  Like so many times while on mission, the Lord spoke so clearly to me through the voices of those whom I met.  At the end of a long day, sitting at a table with our team and some new friends, I heard the voice of God.

Before I tell you what God said, let me tell you how God said it.  Stephen and Carrie are a missionary family serving at Hands and Feet.  They are dedicated leaders who are passionate about God’s calling to orphan care at this campus, so together with their three small children, they live full-time in Haiti and minister to orphans.  Stephen was explaining the philosophy of orphan care at Hands and Feet, using the imagery of a “love cup”.  You see, although Hands and Feet will host hundreds of people every year on mission trips to assist in the ongoing ministry of orphan care, and although these trips are essential to the success of their campus, one need is noticeably absent—one need the orphans do not depend on the mission teams to meet—the need for Love.

That is because, while staying at this orphanage (affectionately named a Children’s Village), children are busy with their families.  Yep, that’s right—orphans, yet with families.  Every child on their campus is part of a family, with brothers and sisters of all ages and a Haitian mom assigned to them.  Each family unit lives in a townhouse with bedrooms, a kitchen with a table, and a front porch.  The families function as much as possible like any normal family.  This is not an orphanage in the traditional sense, but truly a Children’s Village!

Stephen went on to say, “The hope is that our children do not run up to the mission teams and constantly beg for your attention.  If we have succeeded then their “love cup” is already full.”  Wow!

So here is what the Lord said to me. As I have reflected on the family experience of the orphans in the Children’s Village, my own family came to mind.  God was asking me,“Patrick, is this true for your family? Are the love cups full at your house?”

That picture has stayed in my mind since leaving Hands and Feet.  For those of us with children living in our homes, we should never let them walk out the door without their “love cups” being full.  We should never let our children feel needy for attention outside their home.  We should never allow the world to fill the love cups of the little ones God has entrusted into our care.

When God sent His Son into the world, He did something beautiful: He filled our love cup. He adopted us into His family. We are no longer orphans. So this Christmas season, as you prepare for the holidays with decorations, presents, and feasts, make sure you fill the love cups of those in your home—your wife, your husband, and/or your children.  May God fill your love cup to overflowing this Christmas as you fill the love cups of those around you.

Merry Christmas!

Patrick

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