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Posted on November 24, 2019 Thank you for helping us do James 1:27!
Larry & Rebecca Stanton
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“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Larry hopes the following is worship that pleases God.

For several years now, Larry has taken firewood to a certain older gentleman in Serbia, one of the oldest men in town at 92. Lajos Fodor was always very grateful, and Larry enjoys visiting with him. When Larry and Pastor Zoltán discussed doing a firewood distribution this time, Zoli said he was concerned the old man had died. He hadn’t seen him in a while. This struck me as odd—in a small town, how would you not know someone died? But in a place where there isn’t a local newspaper publishing obituaries, and most of the elderly live in isolation…

But yesterday, a joyful message came from Larry: He’s alive!

Larry was so happy to see the old man. Larry showed him a picture from last year and asked if they could take another. Lajos laughed at last year’s picture, and took off his sock hat for this one.

Larry said the remarkable thing about the whole situation is how happy the old man seems. Wearing hand-patched clothes and living in what seems like squalor to us, the man showed Larry his home.

He was wearing homemade gloves—a piece of cloth with rough stitches to make a thumb—and walking with a pitchfork for a cane. The well-worn handle says this tool has held him steady for a while.

After Larry left he went to town and bought a pair of gloves for him.

We hope this is worship that is pleasing.

During this round of distributions, they met a new lady who recently lost her husband. She has two children, aged 12 and 14, and because of them she could speak a little English. The load of firewood came at a crucial time for them. Her wood bin was almost empty. She said, “Miracles do happen!” Larry said, “Yeah, every day. We just don’t see it. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again in a couple months.”

There is another person Larry has visited several years now. Julianna Bitó in her 80s and has been alone, widowed for 12 years. Larry’s big heart breaks for her, knowing that the cold is uncomfortable but loneliness is unbearable. Using two canes, she carefully stood up to give Larry a hug. She said, “I love you.”

Julianna said, “I love you.”

Please hold these hugs, smiles, and love in your hearts, too, and enjoy them with us, because YOU made them possible. Your donations to our work account allow Larry to travel to Serbia and purchase the wood. In James 1:27, the Bible says this is pure religion, caring for the widows and orphans in their distress. Thank you for sending us, with your love and resources, to the least of these. Please continue praying for them and for us as we serve.