Monday, April 23, 2007

Caring for the Least of These

As Christians, the question we must ask ourselves is not “Should I help the poor?” but rather “HOW should I help the poor?”

One effective and meaningful way to help is to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Yesterday, along with hundreds of churches across America, our church participated in Compassion Sunday. For over 50 years, Compassion has been reaching out to needy children around the world. Compassion partners with evangelical churches in 24 countries to provide for the basic needs of over 770,000 children. When you sponsor a child, Compassion links you to an individual child who needs your help. You receive his or her photo and personal story, and you can build a relationship with that child through letters and prayers.

As Compassion president Wess Stafford has said:

“[So often we] speak of children as ‘tomorrow’s world’ or ‘the church’s future.’ As noble as those phrases sound, they are all about pushing off the value of children to the Realm of Someday. Someday they will add value. Someday they will make a difference. Not today. …When it comes to children, we must stop thinking someday and start thinking of their worth and needs today.”
I believe in the ministry of Compassion. They realize that children are precious in God’s sight, and they respond to Jesus' call to welcome them in His name. I’ve been inspired and humbled by my involvement in this vital ministry. Sponsorship has been a blessing to me, and I pray that through my letters and support, an 11-year-old girl in Indonesia named Leni is experiencing God’s love in a tangible way.

Sponsorship costs $32 a month—an investment of about a dollar a day. That’s less than what most of us pay for a Coke or a cup of coffee--or for other luxuries like movies and internet. But it can provide opportunities for your sponsored child that most of the world’s poorest children never see, including:

  • school fees and uniforms
  • tutoring, literacy programs and career training
  • clean water, medical checkups and hygiene education
  • supplemental food and nutrition information
  • love, personal attention and guided recreation

And most importantly, they’ll learn about Jesus and receive regular Bible training. Each child will have a chance to hear and respond to the gospel of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

The apostle John wrote in his first letter, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

Will you prayerfully consider loving one of “the least of these” today in deed and in truth?

No comments: