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Helping “the least of these”

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Matt 25:40

Every morning for the past few weeks, as I’ve gotten in the shower, it comes to mind how easy it is to access water.  A turn of one dial sends clean, cool water gushing out.  In the evenings, I walk into a warm, clean, spacious home where I can open one door and find a feast of things to cook for dinner. I can visit any kind of doctor with little concern about cost because of insurance.  And I can hop in my car and drive anywhere on a whim.  What it all means is that Life has become easy, and it’s in the ease of life that I find my struggle lately.

Each day, I drive past a lottery billboard…the numbers make my heart ache. Those millions could end homelessness.  Eradicate disease. Make poverty a thing of the past.  It seems so easy.  But easy isn’t usually where the lesson comes from, is it?

Even with the sponsored children, time and donations to the mission, and Christmas gifts of goats and new wells, my investment seems small.  I know that joined together, we can do much.  Community is so important in relationships…in work settings…in helping the least of these.

What charity/relief organizations are you plugged into that I (and others) might not be aware of?  And how can we help?

Take Action

11 Responses to “Helping “the least of these””

  1. Jason January 20, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    It’s so overwhelming to look at all the need in the world. I had a pastor once tell me that God knows you can’t help everyone but you can help the one in front of you. That always stuck with me.

  2. JenDeshler January 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Love that. Thanks, Jason, for that reminder that we don’t always have to think big to do big things.

  3. Grant Jenkins January 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Great post, Jen. These things are increasingly weighing on my heart as well. One thing that has been such a blessing to be a part of is the Stretch young adult community at Cross Point. This is a group of folks that pursue Christ, in the context of community, and are increasingly dedicated to serving the “least of these” in a wide variety of settings. It’s truly amazing to see because, like you said, on our own our individual contributions, efforts and even prayers seem so small compared to the great needs. However, there is something uniquely powerful and redemptive about joining with others in a community and pooling your resources, energy and prayer toward a singular focus.

    I’ve been reading Timothy Keller’s book, “Generous Justice” (which I HIGHLY recommend for you to check out), and he talks about Matthew 25 a lot. Up until recently, I had never viewed a direct tie between justice and salvation, but if you read Matthew 25:31-46, there it is.

    He also talks about how the verses that say we are “saved by grace, through faith” and that “faith without works is dead” seemingly contradict each other. However, he offers the insight that the two actually work together, meaning that we are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that remains alone. Put that in the context of Matthew 25 and you see that doing justice is not just a “call” to missions. It is a command of Jesus to do justice in the earth.

    I could go on and on and on about this. But I will stop, and probably copy my response here as a blog post on my own site. haha! Thank you for sharing this tonight.

    • JenDeshler January 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

      Grant, you’ve given me great food for thought, here. I love to watch what you’re doing with CPStretch…talk about the power of community! Can’t wait to read that book and hear what you have to say about this on your blog!

  4. iron mike barrow January 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Great post…yes, clean obtainable water is a big deal…so many deaths could be preventer by one simple thing that we take so for granted…I have written much about this on my blog so I will spare you here…two amazing organizations I recommend are BloodWater Mission…http://www.bloodwatermission.com and Venture Expeditions…http://www.ventureexpeditions.org…I think you will find both very worthwhile…

    • JenDeshler January 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      Can’t wait to explore your blog. Thanks for stopping by and sharing ideas on new orgs to get plugged in to!

  5. Jennifer King January 21, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    Jennifer,
    This is always a topic that settles heavily on my heart, too. I think it is especially tough to bear in the midst of the American over-abundance. The focus on things and lots of them isn’t quite as heavy in other parts of the world. My author friend, Susan Meissner, is doing a huge effort this year for orphans in Johannesburg, for her 50th birthday year. It’s really awesome … you can find her thoughts and her cause here: http://www.jubileeforjoburg.blogspot.com/
    You can bet I’m incredibly inspired by her mission.
    Happy Friday, and thanks for the thought-provoking post.
    Jennifer

    • JenDeshler January 21, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Hi Jen,
      Love this. You’re so right–we get caught up in owning things and lose sight of what really matters.

  6. Brooke January 21, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    there are a couple local charities that my husband and I are involved with. Most prominately, is Cystic Fibrosis charity started by my boss (he’s the father of two CF kids). We donate both time and money to them.

    another “favorite” (that sounds like a horrible word to use but its morning and my sleep brain is struggling to think of a better one) is Wears Valley Ranch. http://www.wvr.org/ its a small organization that takes in children in crisis situations (ones that they themselves have not created. gives them a school or home full of Christian love and guidance.

    we started giving to the ranch because my husband had a client who was first a child there, then has gone on to work for them.

    i love local charities because you get such a clear picture of what (and who) you are giving too.

    most of our international giving comes through places brought before us by the church.

    • JenDeshler January 21, 2011 at 7:16 am #

      Thanks for sharing these, Brooke. Can’t wait to do research on them.

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