Caring for the Needy: What God Says
This year nine million children younger than five will die needlessly, more than half from hunger-related causes. 25,000 per day. Over 1,000 each hour. These children are as precious as our own children and grandchildren. What would we want others to do for them if they were in this dire situation?
More than 1.4 billion people, 20% of the world’s population, earn less than $1.25 per day. (About one third the cost of a Venti latte.)
God has been speaking to Nanci and me about how we can give more to help the poor and needy. I’ve put together a list of Scriptures I cited in Money, Possessions and Eternity. Please read these and listen to what our God says to us, His children. Don’t ask what other people are doing, or how American Christians usually choose to live and spend money (as if it were ours). Ask God what He wants you to do with His money, which He has entrusted to your stewardship, to act with it on His behalf. Meditate on these Scriptures, and ask Him if He wants you to adjust your lifestyle in order to give more to help the needy:
Give generously to [the poor] and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:10-11)
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done. (Proverbs 19:17)
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)
He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. (Proverbs 28:27)
I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. (Isaiah 58:7, nlt)
Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. (Isaiah 58:10-11, nlt)
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these brothers of mine, so you have done it unto me. (Matthew 25)
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:14-16)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-19)
We offer the option of giving to the needy through EPM and our ministry will go about making the choice of where to send the funds. Some people prefer not to get on multiple mailing lists of organizations, but would rather EPM do their homework and select the best ministry in a particular area. EPM gives 100% of what is designated to special funds, nothing is withheld. You can donate online if you wish, and designate that the funds go to our Relief Fund.
Below are a couple of options for giving to help the poor and needy, through World Relief, an organization EPM supports and recommends. (And, of course, you can donate directly to them, if you prefer.) Learn more about them at worldrelief.org. (There are many other fine organizations out there doing the work of helping those in need. Check out my article “Nineteen Questions to Ask Before Giving to Any Organization” for some guidance on evaluating which ministries to give to.)
The people in this arid region face violent militia attacks and severe food and water shortages.
Mothers bring their young children to our 13 feeding centers where the children are weighed, examined and given supplementary food as needed. We don’t send mothers away helpless. We teach them how to fend off malnutrition by preparing nutritious meals from inexpensive locally available ingredients.
Our goal is to build stability through interventions aimed at boosting the nutritional status of households, providing safe drinking water, improving hygiene, and protecting the health of women and children.
With more than 800,000 orphans in the country, the need is great. Now, church-based volunteers offer food and assistance to ensure children finish their education. Agricultural programs, including an innovative program to grow groundnuts/peanuts, soya beans, sugar beans and high-value vegetables, offer families affected by AIDS seeds and tools to provide basic food and some family income.
Children in Malawi face malnutrition at alarming rates—more than sixty percent of children under five are chronically malnourished. World Relief uses the effective care group model to teach mothers about health, nutrition and hygiene.