The Least of These Ought to Be First ***UPDATED***

To be honest – I am not exactly the most qualified person to comment on "world issues." Every world issue is so full of fine lines and shades of grey, that I have no real hope of being able to address even one in a simple little writing prompt with any kind of thoroughness. Not only that, but so many world issues are already covered by various, well-educated, radically differing opinions – all of whom seem to be right, depending on the day.

The one that matters the most to me, personally, however, is poverty – especially women, babies, and children living in abject poverty. I harbor a strong desire to serve women as a midwife in the Middle East, or in Africa. Of course, that desire is sleeping at the moment, as I have matters of hearth and home to attend to for many years before I can be free to pursue such a dream.

I know that this great big beautiful world has more than enough resources to go around for its 6 billion inhabitants. Granted, that "enough-ness" depends on so many different factors related to the heart of humanity.

Greed. Neglect. Apathy. Hatred. Power.

Generosity. Stewardship. Passion. Love. Humility.

I heave a sigh and cannot help but think that there is really not much that I can do to bring more attention to the poverty so many millions suffer under – whether through their own apathy, or because of factors beyond their control doesn't matter much to me. Either way, they are worse off than I am, and deserving of my compassion and prayer, at the very least.

It seems, to me, that no matter how much attention that poverty gets, it will never see eradication from this earth until her Rightful King returns.

The best I feel I can hope for, on any given day, is to make what difference that I can, personally speaking. I am, first and foremost, responsible for my own sphere of influence, and the physical needs I am able to meet within. It starts with my own family.

Beyond that? What?

Well, we all know that God loves a cheerful giver, and that we are to give prayerfully what the Lord lays on our own heart. For this heart, at this time, that means sponsoring a child through Compassion International. A child we build a relationship with through letter-writing. A child who calls me "Aunty," and sends pictures to add to our "Imagination Book." A child who is getting food, medicine, an education, and to see the light of the Gospel because of our paltry little check each month. A child whose picture has a prominent place among photos of our dearest family and friends.

(One quick aside about Compassion: Our check does not go into a vast pool, where it is divvied up among all the kids in the program. Our check goes directly for our child's local program, which is run through their local church, so the specific needs of the community (and therefore, our child and his family) are met. I really like that about this organization.)

I do, very much wish that poverty received more attention. I believe that it deserves such attention, because it is something that ALL of us who are not in poverty, are able to do something about, be it ever so small. Even if it's five bucks to a local mission to put a meal on the table for a few homeless men. We can all do something for the least of these in Jesus' name.

The least of these, who are so dear to the heart of God.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' " ~Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)

I do not have the solution to solving world poverty. I never will. I am not naive enough to think that this post will resonate far enough to change the whole world, or even that it will mean very much to anyone who actually reads it.

However, I do know, beyond the shadow of a doubt that, for a little boy in India who calls me "Aunty," we are making a world of difference, indeed.

That will have to be enough. For now.

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What world issues do you think deserve more prominence than they are given? Why? What do you think your part might be in bringing more attention to those things that are important to you?

Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts!



4 thoughts on “The Least of These Ought to Be First ***UPDATED***

  1. Compassion is a good organization. We work with them some here in Uganda. Your info about not putting money into a pool is correct only in specific money you send above you regular support, though. Like when you send money for a birthday gift. Monthly support, even Christmas money, is shared to make sure all have some. They ask for $35 a month. They have many projects in many countries. Each has it’s own operating budget. Some places cost more than others. It’s not a bad thing, just reality. I think it is that way with all such programs. I know our “Feed His Lambs” program has the same practice. Special gifts go as they were given, but some things go into shared funds that cover the differences such as varying rent in different cities.

    • I checked the site, to see exactly what their policy is, and found that it’s a happy medium. While my dollars do not go directly to our boy’s family, they do go specifically to his local program, which is run by a local church. Since the local programs are fairly small, the specific needs of the community, and therefore, the families within the community have their needs met better than if it all went into a gigantic pool that covered the worldwide program.

      That’s what I meant to convey, but apparently did not. 🙂 Thanks for the correction – I would certainly NOT want to misrepresent the organization I respect so much.

  2. I love this post! I was going to mention what the person above did. Our sponsorship dollars do go into a pool that pays for the program costs for ALL children in the program. It is our Gift money that goes directly to the child and his or her family. 100% of the Child Gifts or Family Gifts go to things specifically for that child or family, above and beyond the things covered by sponsorship dollars.
    At any rate, the program is wonderful and it works. What I find to be the most rewarding is the ministry we can have with these children through our letters. We can raise them up with our words and our love.

  3. While reading your post the word “abundance” came to mind. It is the world’s perception of limits and shortages that causes a lot of the hoarding and power struggles in poorer parts of the world. Many people do not have anything because a few too many people have so much more than what they need. Shortages are an illusion placed by the enemy.

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