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Thousands of Easter Chicks

The Family Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

Matt delivering food even in the worst of weather
Happy recipients of the Easter chicks
2500 chicks find a Home on Good Friday

Easter was suddenly upon us. We had no chocolate eggs to give out, as we usually do, to the children of the township where we work. We have used the eggs to illustrate and help the children to understand and celebrate Easter.

On Good Friday, we received a call that 2500 chicks were going to be incinerated and could we help? My mind was a blur. What am I supposed to do with 2500 live chicks on Good Friday? “Give me ten minutes!” I told the man. I phoned some of our project leaders in the township where we work and made a plan to distribute them to needy families. I was not sure how we would do it, but at the same time the thought kept running through my head, “It’s Easter – the Lord must have a plan for these chicks––not just to save them, but to help many suffering families.”

By the end of the day you could hear cheeping all over the township. Faces were radiant as the recipients were given their chicks, which will be raised either to lay eggs or to supply a lovely Sunday dinner in six weeks time. When we went down a few days later, we saw the chicks in different places, some of them corralled in makeshift pens made out of tyres, others in proper pens cheerfully jumping around.

We are still hearing stories of what a difference these chicks have made in the lives of those who received them. One old lady had had a dream that someone was going to come and give her something that Easter, and that this person would be the one to help her with her serious emotional problems. Sure enough, she met Abram, one of our community co-workers, who not only gave her chicks, but also gave her the message of salvation through Jesus. Abram began counselling this woman and praying with her, and she was wonderfully helped. It is interesting to see how God works as she would not have met Abram if it were not for those chicks.

When I meditated on these events, it came to me that these chicks were originally going to be incinerated on Good Friday, and they were given a new lease of life over the Easter weekend, which brought joy to hundreds of lives. It was a wonderful reminder of what Easter is all about and how Jesus laid down His life for us that we may know the joy of salvation. The Lord in His perfect wisdom had given us something so much better than chocolate eggs to symbolise new life: He had not given an empty shell, but new life itself representing His resurrection to save the world.

Originally Published in 2008.