A few years ago, the concept of Giving Tuesday was developed and promoted by a few charitable organizations as a response to encourage giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are surely many needs in this fallen world, and I have no criticism of charitable and philanthropic organizations that have promoted Giving Tuesday as a means for people to give back to important charitable causes. But, this holiday season, we'd like to ask you to think about the concept of giving yourself a gift. Bear with me a moment while I explain.
If I can be totally transparent, I am uncomfortable about writing blogs about giving or asking people for money, even for a charitable cause. But, this is not about me and my pride; it is about the mission of Christ and what God is doing at the Bethel Children's Centre in Kenya. And, yes, the children who are served by that ministry there have substantial needs. But, the truth of the matter is that God can accomplish all His holy work without any of our help. So, why does he tell us to love our neighbor, and to do good for widows and orphans? Yes, the widows and orphans need help, but so much more than that, WE need help.
In reflecting on giving, one thing that is roundly recognized is how giving actually does us good. Here are a few quotations in which this truth has been acknowledged:
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The best recreation is to do good." —William Penn
"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." —Booker T. Washington
"As the purse is emptied the heart is filled " —Victor Hugo.
Proverbs 11:25 says: "Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25. In talking about this verse, Charles Spurgeon said: "We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. . . . We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow's tears, and soothe the orphan's grief." So, this year, I'd ask you to celebrate this holiday season by giving a gift to yourself. You may be surprised how the Giver can and does do amazing things with the least and most humble of gifts and what it would be like to experience the joy of being a part of that. Think about the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus, and saw how Jesus took that modest gift and fed thousands of people. How many times throughout his life do you think that boy looked back on that day with a smile on his face?
Through God's work at Bethel, lives have been changed. Children who have experienced the worst kinds of hardship have found hope. And, not only that, we have seen older children taking a hand in mentoring and training younger children and are making an impact in their schools. Before our very eyes, we are seeing five loaves and two fish be multiplied. The truth of the matter is this: God, the creator of the universe, doesn't NEED our humble gifts. He can do anything. So, why does he choose to go through the trouble of doing His work through the pitiful gifts of fallen humans? I think He does it for OUR joy. So, we'd like to ask you to give yourself the gift of joy, and we'd humbly ask you to consider coming along beside us.
As always, we do our best to be good stewards of the gifts with which we are entrusted. With Huruma, we have no paid employees. We have no office. When we go on a mission trip, we and the other team members contribute our own travel costs. So, 100% of every gift you give goes directly to support the mission of ministering to impoverished children in Kenya.
We'd also encourage you to go and see what the Lord is doing at the Bethel Children's Centre. We are prayerfully considering a trip in 2019. Stay tuned!
The Jericho Road
This is the blog of Huruma International Ministries. Huruma seeks to fulfill our calling to "go and do likewise" as instructed by Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lesson of the Good Samaritan is not about achieving spiritual success through our own efforts. No, what we learn is that we are to give mercy, because we have been given mercy. We are all poor and needy. We are all travelers on the Jericho Road