31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Giving… Even In Helpless Situations (Day 24)

Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.

If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Republished from the archives

On our trip to the Dominican Republic, we visited an urban slum in downtown Santo Domingo. What we saw and experienced was shocking–and yet heart-warming.

{I wish I could have taken my camera to capture the scenes for you, but we’d decided to leave it behind as it was a somewhat dangerous situation for Americans to go into these slums. We found out later that one of the men who showed up while we were visiting was actually one of the city’s most dangerous criminals–a man who has an alliance with the police and therefore never gets punished for any of his deeds because he just pays them money to overlook his criminal actions. Our guide was incredibly grateful that I hadn’t brought the camera as he felt there was a good chance it would have put us in a great deal of danger!}

To even reach where the people lived, you had to go through this very small and long concrete corridor in between two stores. At the back, we ducked under laundry hanging out and entered a concrete broken down dwelling that looked like it hadn’t seen anything clean in decades. It reeked of years’ worth of dirty laundry piles mixed with sweat.

Inside this smelly, dirty, concrete dwelling was a beautiful woman. To most people, she wouldn’t appear all that beautiful from the outside. Her teeth were mostly missing and what was left of them were rotted and brown. Her hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in a very long time. Her clothes were dirty, extremely worn out, and stained.

But she was a beautiful woman regardless of her outward appearances because she radiated with contentment. Her living conditions were appalling. She was in charge of caring for some of her grandchildren because her daughter has been sick for years. Her son is a high profile criminal. And she is unable to find work and relies on the kindness of others for support.

Despite all her struggles, she was so joyful. Instead of giving in to hopelessness and despair, she was telling us how she’s trying to reach out and help others.

And then, she asked if she could pray for us. I was moved to tears.

Here was this woman who has practically nothing and she’s asking to pray for us!

I wish you could have heard her prayer. It was powerful and filled with praise to the Lord, thanking Him for bringing us to visit her and asking that God would bless us.

After we gave her a box of staple supplies and prayed for her, I hugged her and thanked her profusely for letting us come. While we came to reach out to her, we left the ones who were ministered to.

If she can be joyful, content, and giving in such an awful situation in life, I have no excuse to ever complain again.

{This picture is of one of the other families we visited on our trip. All six of them live in this house and it wasn’t much bigger than what you see here. I was so impressed with the girl on the left. She had so much drive and potential: she’s working at the supermarket and going to the university to study accounting and hoping to get a job in the accounting field once she graduates.}

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Other posts in the 31 Days of Giving on a Budget series

  1. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Turn a Ladies' Night Out into an Opportunity to Give Back
  2. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Volunteering in Your Community (Day 2)
  3. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Teaching Our Children to Be Givers (Day 3)
  4. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Teaching Our Children To Be Gracious Receivers (Day 4)
  5. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Charity Begins at Home (Day 5)
  6. 31 Days of Giving: The Healing Power of Giving (Day 6)
  7. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Random Acts of Kindness (Day 7)
  8. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 6 Creative Gift-Giving Ideas for a Limited Budget (Day 8)
  9. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: "Give, and it shall be given to you..." (Day 9)
  10. 31 Days of Giving: Hospitality on a Budget (Day 10)
  11. 31 Days of Giving: What Our Children Are Teaching Us About Being Givers (Day 11)
  12. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Blessings in a Backpack (Day 12)
  13. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 40 Days of Fasting From Excess (Day 13)
  14. 31 Days of Giving: Giving Away as Much as We Save (Day 14)
  15. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 7 Ways to Give Generously (Day 15)
  16. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Freezer Cooking for the Elderly (Day 16)
  17. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: The Joy of Giving Anonymously (Day 17)
  18. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 3 Fun Ways for Children to Give (Day 18)
  19. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: The Hunger Site (Day 19)
  20. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Using Frugality to Splurge on Others (Day 20)
  21. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 5 Inexpensive Ways to Give (Day 21)
  22. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Teaching Our Children to be Givers By Setting Examples in Our Everyday Life (Day 22)
  23. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Blessing Bags (Day 23)
  24. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Giving... Even In Helpless Situations (Day 24)
  25. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Finding Joy in Helping Others (Day 25)
  26. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 5 Ways to Give Generously Through Couponing (Day 26)
  27. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 3 Ways to Give Gratitude to Those in the Military (Day 27)
  28. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Teaching Children the Spirit of Giving (Day 28)
  29. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: 4 Ways to Give on a Limited Income
  30. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Why We "Gave Christmas Away"
  31. 31 Days of Giving on a Budget: The More We Save, The More We Have to Give

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Comments

  1. DEBBIE AUEN says

    This is so amazing! This story brings happiness and sadness to my heart.Thank you for sharing!

  2. Mary says

    These are some of my favorite postings! I love your giving heart. You keep a reminder in front of us that we need to give and show compassion. Inspirational! Thank you!

  3. Lindsey says

    I don’t remember reading this and so reading it just now, I felt God speaking to me. So often I feel like living in America is a hindrance in the Christian walk because our “poor” is RICH to people living in other countries and the fact that they can live in such (what we would consider deplorable) conditions and still praise the One who made them REALLY makes me think. Are we (am I?) expecting God to care for our wants and classifying them as needs? Makes me really wonder when I hear of women such as the one you met who obviously believes in the same God as me – the same God who says He will provide all of her NEEDS. A lot to think and pray about. Thank you for reposting this and Merry Christmas!