A Message to An Outreach Ministry
Last Sunday, I joined an outreach to my church’s Payatas branch. It was organized by a group called RealFaith. RealFaith is composed of youth reaching out to the less-fortunate youth.
I love the idea of youth reaching out to the less-fortunate youth. It’s because it entails going out of comfort zones. Sometimes, we can be so caught up with our usual circles of comfort that we forget that there’s life outside of it. I’m so caught up with my campus ministry and small group and I forgot that there are other young people outside of it. How ignorant of me!
In outreach ministries, we will always be dealing with the poor, the oppressed, the needy, the marginalized. And I’m reminded of the apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 2:10:
All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
What was that thing that Paul was eager to do? It was to “remember the poor.”
The apostle was referring to the poor of Jerusalem. Jerusalem had went through a severe famine (see Acts 11:28-30) and the believers there were struggling. So in his journeys, he collected funds from the gentile churches. He was eager to help the poor. Are we eager to help the poor?
Aside from the verse above, there are many others in the Bible that exhort us to care for the poor (see for example Leviticus 25:8-25 and Nehemiah 5). It is a constant theme in Scripture. God loves the poor!
I have a friend who has a tremendously compassionate heart. When she encounters street people, her heart goes out to them. She would buy them food, give them money, share the gospel to them, and pray with them. Every time I see her do these, I always wish that I would have the same heart as hers. Just like the apostle Paul, she was eager to help the poor.
When I walk on the streets and encounter these people, there’s always a battle waging in my mind. Should I help them? Or should I ignore them? Most of the times, I ignore them. I know the Bible talks about having concern for the poor, but I don’t know how to live it out. Frankly, I don’t know what to do.
But I praise God for ministries like RealFaith. I may still not have a heart that is as compassionate as my friend’s. But at least now, I know what to do. I can now live out what the Bible says.
And before I end this blog, let me give two verses Jesus ministry to the poor.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. (Luke 4:18, emphasis added)
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
Jesus was sent to the poor and would be among the poor. He placed special attention on the poor. Jesus loves the poor; so let’s love them as well.