(Continuing my account of the beginning of the Log Church Orphanage in Kenya)Journal Entry – April 6, 2018
When considering the needs of the children at the orphanage, my thinking had been in some ways like the disciples when faced with a crowd of 5000+ hungry people. Instead of taking it upon themselves to help the people, they said to Jesus, “Send them away into the surrounding countryside and into the villages so that they can buy something to eat.”
In response to that, Jesus said to the disciples, “You give them something to eat!”
In regards to the situation with the orphans in Kenya, I am increasingly thinking that he has said that also to me.
The question that the disciples then put to Jesus was typical of how we would usually think of meeting a need of this nature. They asked Jesus, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”
They wanted to know in dollars and in cents how much money would be needed to fulfill that need.
I also asked Pastor Joel how much money it would cost each day to feed the children. I also asked him about school costs, and when I was visiting them in Kenya, I also checked on the local costs of many other things, such as shoes and clothing.
When the disciples responded to the suggestion by Jesus that they should feed the crowd of more than 5000 people, they mentioned the figure of two hundred denarii. I don’t know why the disciples came up with that figure. A denarius was usually considered a day’s wages, so that figure would be about the wages for eight months of work.
Jesus and his disciples held a collective purse, so whether this was the amount of money in their treasury at the moment, I do not know. It’s difficult for me to believe that they had that much money. But for some reason, this was the figure that the disciples threw out at Jesus—two hundred denarii worth of bread.
However, even this amount, substantial as it was, would not buy enough bread even for “each of them to get even a little.” That was how the disciple Philip put it (John 6:7).
But the disciples had missed the point. And when Jesus spoke to me about feeding the orphans in Kisii, I also missed the point. I hope I am beginning to learn.