Isn’t it great when we help others, become a light in our communities. I hear about my friends’ plans to take time after graduation to live and serve impoverished communities abroad, often in countries where they have never been or do not speak the native language! On top of this, I am constantly presented with reports of celebrities travelling to the world’s most disadvantaged communities, in an effort to do something like eliminate a disease or work with orphans. I can not help, and at times feel disheartened that I haven’t’ travelled the world in support of a cause. Does it mean that I am doing less to serve God’s Kingdom? Am I selfish if the time and money that I donate to charities falls short of the millions raised by others?
We all want to serve God by supporting charitable causes but sometimes it feels as though we can never make a significant impact. For example, Drew Barrymore who made a personal donation of $1million to the World Food Programme in 2008 to help feed African children, Angelina Jolie who has gone so far as to take into her home children from less fortunate backgrounds and raise them as her own. Celebrity charity work suggests that going abroad or giving a huge sum of money is the best way to have a positive impact in the world.
However, the book of Luke depicts the story of the poor widow’s offering:
Luke 21:1-4: As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” New International Version (NIV)
As children of God we must remember that it is the heart with which we serve that is important. Travelling to exotic lands is not the only way to do good in God’s Kingdom; there are causes everywhere that need support, and arguably those at home are most deserving of our attention. Here are some ways we can serve at home:
– Volunteer at your local homeless shelter- this requires only your time and a friendly smile!
– If your place of work or study does not yet have a means for people to serve the community, organize a collection or food drive
– Run in the local/city marathon- sponsorship from friends and family is a great way to raise money for a cause close to your heart
– Support runners at your local marathon- if you can not run in the marathon that does not mean you can not take part! I have stood en route of the London marathon, cheering on runners and handing out water, and the runners are always appreciative
Never think you are too small to benefit and impact the world around you!G. It does not take money or fame or air miles to serve the our communities, it simply takes compassion for your neighbour and a desire to be broken by the things that breaks God’s heart! So go an impact someone’s life today! How about you start with a smile!
By Tumi Belo
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