Clean Up Your Plate
February 13, 2022
Reflections From the Heart of Allan Redenius
As a kid, I heard this from my parents, “Clean up your plate. Kids in China are starving to death.” By the time I became a parent, the mantra was the same, but with a slight adjustment. “Clean up your plate. Kids in Ethiopia are starving to death.”
All my life, I read in the newspaper, saw on the television, and heard on the radio about starving children. Each and every time, my heart hurt for them. But, realistically, what could I do? Cleaning up my plate certainly doesn’t help a hungry boy or girl across the street, let alone halfway around the world.
Then one day, I heard this story. As was her custom, a woman in the Congo went to the hospital to minister to the sick. From a darkened room, she heard a baby boy cry. “What’s his story,” she asked? The nurses in charge relayed this account.
His mother died giving birth to him. The people in the village believed that because the mother died, the boy was cursed. They all bantered the father enough that he believed it to be true also. So, he took the baby boy to the village cemetery, laid him down, and walked away. A walking trail skirted the cemetery and, as children walked by, they heard the baby cry. Thinking it to be a ghost, they ran away. Then, later in the day, someone ventured into the cemetery to investigate. On the ground, there was the baby. He was taken to the hospital for care. But in the Congo, if the mother is not there to care for and nurse the child, it is left to die. (In the Congo, you can’t just run to the store and pick up some formula.)
“What’s his name?” asked the inquiring woman. “Danu,” was the reply. She picked up the baby boy and said, “I’m taking him home to give him life. I’m changing his name from Danu, which means, abandoned, to Precious.”
This story made me cry. I decided then and there that I could help through Covenant Kids Congo. Since that time, twelve years ago and with the help of others, we have been supporting forty-six of these starving kids in the Congo.
How do I know the story to be true? Several years later, I met the son of the mother who adopted Precious.
There are a few things in life I’ve done well…this is one of them.
Praise God for allowing me to help,
©2022 Allan Redenius, All Rights Reserved
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