“What are we going to do? There’s not enough food to feed the children. How did we end up here? How are the children going to react?”
These were the questions the orphanage leaders were asking one another on a hot summer day in Chiang Rai, Thailand. When I was pastoring in South Korea, I had led a team to serve the orphans at this particular orphanage in Thailand. The orphanage had close to 100 children. Some came from poverty-stricken homes where their parents couldn’t afford to feed and house them, and others lost their parents due to one circumstance or another.
These were children who, in the world’s standards, didn’t have much, but that didn’t seem to matter.
Constant laughter, joy, and childish pranks filled this orphanage, whether the children were in school, eating a bowl of rice, or playing games with sticks and vegetables.
…that is, until they ran out of food…
When the orphanage leaders realized they had no way to feed the children, they decided to break the news to the children before they prayed over their last supper.
“Children, we need to pray,” said the orphanage director, “we’ve run out of food, money, and all means to go and buy groceries at the market.”
The childish atmosphere immediately turned into nervous silence.
The director continued, “There’s really only one thing we can do; it’s to pray that God provides, as he said he would, and enjoy this last meal.”
So that’s exactly what the children and leaders did—they prayed and ate.
The next morning the director woke up to the sound of the telephone. When she picked up the phone, it was a local farmer telling the director to bring her truck out to the dirt road to get this order of broccoli.
“Broccoli?” asked the surprised director.
“I don’t know what happened, but when I woke up this morning, I had this urgent sense to bring this broccoli to you guys,” said the farmer.
“Now you need to understand two things. I don’t believe in this Jesus that you say you believe in, but I do know you are doing important work with those orphans. Second, this isn’t just any broccoli; this is export-grade broccoli.”
When the director drove out to the dirt road, she was stunned. This wasn’t just one trip’s worth of broccoli; she had to drive her truck back and forth three times to gather it all.
Needless to say, the childish aroma filled the air of the orphanage once again, and for the first time in history, no one complained about eating broccoli.
Doesn’t this make you want to get down on your knees and pray?
To ask God to change hearts, your city, and this world? To ask Him to break through the silence, destroy the chains of bondage, and set the captives free? Both in your life and those around you?
It should! Because the God that provided these children with broccoli is the same God that created and is sustaining this world, you, and I. He’s the one that is actively giving breath to our lungs!
So yes, we do need to pray. We need to pray and have the same kind of faith that these children did! Not faith in our ability to pray, but faith in the One that we’re praying to. Faith that He knows the right way to respond to the prayers that are welling up out of our hearts. The kind of faith that trusts in His timing over ours because “with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day” (2 Pet 3:8 CSB).
We need to have the kind of faith that has so much confidence in God that we can rest in Him and wait on His timing.