Giving

“For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.” (Romans 15:26)

The regions of Macedonia and Achaia, or modern-day Greece, were some of the most wealthy areas of the New Testament world. It is likely that many of the Gentile converts in these regions, as well as the Jews living there, were quite successful in the world of trade and business. The Christians in Israel, however, suffered under intense persecution. They lived in a society where leaving strict Judaism to convert to Christianity meant giving up your place as a citizen of society in good standing. The Christians in Jerusalem, in particular, suffered greatly at this time.

Learning of their Jewish brother’s sufferings, the believers in Greece decided to make a generous contribution to the church at Jerusalem. When the apostles and other traveling ministers brought news to them of Christians’ needs abroad, they opened their hearts and gave.

We have a similar situation today for in America we have more wealth than anywhere else in the world. Our Christian brothers and sisters abroad, however, suffer lack in many parts of the world. Somebody needs to travel like Paul did, seeing each situation first-hand and carrying word of the needs to the rest of the Church. Somebody also needs to be willing to give to the needs of those who are part of our own body, shared with Christ as the Head. Just like we would not ignore the needs of our own family, we must not turn away from the needs of our family in the Lord. At Mission Focus our desire is to bring not only the testimonies of the Church abroad, back to the West, but also the needs. We pray that God will open our own hearts and many others, to provide for His people.

Africa, Causes, Spirituality

When confronted with the needs of countless children suffering from AIDS, poverty and the death of parents, what can one do? Isn’t the need to large and overwhelming to address? Wouldn’t it require too much time, energy and resources to reach out to such a helpless multitude of little ones? Not according to Stephen and Beatrice Njau, founders of El Shaddai Children’s Home.

Africa, Causes, Travel

stephen-and-gibson

I just noticed that Paul emphasizes the importance of “one” six times in Romans 5. He repeatedly affirms that it was the offence of one many that caused sin and death to come upon all. Contrasting Adam’s failure with Christ’s perfection, he also states that it was the righteousness of one by which all receive life. As I reflect upon what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen on this trip, one thing that I want to make sure that I do not forget is the power of one. Short of placing ourselves in the unique position of Christ or of Adam, there is a principle that one life carries unlimited potential, for better or for worse.

Africa, Causes, Spirituality