1 John 3:17-18 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
This is one of many verses that speak of the poor and our responsibility to help. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to even know where to start. The statistics are heartbreaking. Unfathomable to us in our warm homes going to work or out with friends with our full bellies that have never known hunger. We turn on the tap and have an endless supply of water to drink, to shower, to wash our clothes. And yet, our very comfort should make us uncomfortable when so much of the world suffers.
Several years ago, my husband and I felt the nudge to adopt a child through Compassion International. Even the possibilities of how to choose just one child boggled our minds. Choosing one meant thousands of others weren’t chosen. We looked at pictures and wanted to support each one, to provide educational opportunities, to feed and clothe them. We didn’t choose right away – the responsibility seemed too great. We prayed, then returned to the website, knowing that God had already chosen the child for us. In our case, it wasn’t just one child, but two little girls from Uganda. Twins.
We have a special affinity for twins. We have both twin sons and twin grandsons, so when we saw their pictures and noted that they were only 8 months older than our grandsons, it was a done deal. Since then we’ve exchanged many letters and have enjoyed watching them grow into sweet girls who love Jesus and are learning Bible verses and math skills and how to read and write. I keep all their letters in a notebook and post their latest pictures on the refrigerator. What I’m doing isn’t special. It’s very small in the grand scheme of things
Ministry opportunities abound around the world and in our own backyards. We can’t change the whole world, but we can change the world for a few.
The question becomes, how do you choose which ministries to support? Here are some things to consider:
- Don’t make emotional decisions. When you hear of a need, ask God for direction.
- Be discerning. Learn as much as you can about the sponsoring organization and where the donations go.
- Consider ministries where you can have a personal connection to the person/people you are supporting. We enjoy the interaction with our girls in Uganda, and because of the personal touch, we remember to pray for them more often. Your prayers are desperately needed.
- Consider one-time opportunities. Through the years, we have supported teen mission trips or families who needed an initial dollar amount so they could enter the mission field.
- Get involved in local ministries with both your time and your resources. Whether it’s the local food bank or your church’s bus ministry, giving of your time is valuable.
- Be flexible. If an immediate need is presented, be prepared to help with a donation or giving of your time. You probably won’t starve if you give your week’s grocery money to someone in crisis, but it may make a world of difference to them.
We may never know this side of heaven what our involvement in ministry accomplishes. I don’t know about you, but someday I’m looking forward to meeting two little girls from Uganda and spending eternity with them.
The need is great. So are the opportunities. Let us love as Christ first loved us.