At the risk of setting myself up for judgment and condemnation, I’ve decided to share the following story. Mind you, I share it only because I believe it will please God for me to do so. Come what may, here is this week’s story:
A couple of weeks ago God spoke to my heart as I was reading a report from Rev. Jan Beaderstadt of Renaissance Outreach Ministries. God said; “Send money to help them.” Did I obey God? No, I didn’t. Why didn’t I? I’ll get to that. But for now, read the following excerpts from Beaderstadt’s report … the report I was reading when God told me, “Send money to help them.”
“It was a steep climb up the hill to the place where the survivors of the April 25 and May 12 earthquake have called their home for the last six months. As I crested the hill, I looked down in amazement at acres of temporary shelters that these people are calling home.
“The first earthquake of April 25th (7.9 on the Richter scale) wiped out much of the villages of Tenchet Chapang. The second earthquake of May 12 (7.4 on the Richter scale) released a tremendous landslide that literally wiped out all traces of the village, its farms and even their terraced farmland. What these people have had for centuries was lost in a matter of minutes.
“Here just outside of Dhading Besi in Dhading District of Nepal, these people are in many ways refugees. They are squatting on private land and the landholder is pushing them to leave. They have no place to go. Their villages were not only totally destroyed, but for most of them there is no place to rebuild. Some are trying to build near their old homes in the jungle, but most don’t even have that option.
“Most of the people of Tenchet are Christian, and one of the first structures they erected was a makeshift church. What little money they had they pooled to buy plastic tarp and bamboo to hold up the roof to protect them from the monsoon rains that were coming soon following the May 12th earthquake. Their church is the most prominent feature of this temporary village. It is the center point for their faith and hope that is giving them the courage to face tomorrow.
“On Saturday, I distributed heavy wool blankets to the survivors of Tenchet Village in Dhading District west of Kathmandu. I was amazed at the attitude of the people. Having lived in makeshift huts for six months, they exhibited such joy and appreciation. We didn’t have enough heavy blankets for everyone, so we targeted widows and orphans first. In most places I have ever been and done this kind of work, if there was a shortage of goods to pass around, there would have been a riot. Instead, the people here, like the rest of the Nepal demonstrated a great deal of patience. They were pleased that we were giving blankets to the widows and orphans first. Even those who didn’t receive a blanket came and thanked us for our generosity.
“Renaissance Outreach Ministry was able to find good, warm blankets that are 50% wool. They are large in size and weigh 5.5 pounds. These are the same quality as used by the military in Nepal. The original price of blankets were $37, but we were able to reduce the cost to just $20 each. These blankets will last a long time and will help to keep the people warm.
“Can you find time to pray for these people of Tenchet and Chapang Villages? And, if you can share a donation for a blanket, it will go a long way toward helping a family stay warm this winter. If you can help, we would appreciate it. Donations can be sent to Renaissance Outreach Ministries, P.O. Box 121, Greentown, Ind. 46936. All donations are tax deductible.”
Readers, I’ll now tell you why I didn’t obey God: procrastination and then forgetfulness. Not complete forgetfulness … but whenever I did remember, it was never at a time that was convenient for me. I know this sounds self-centered of me, and it was. Anyway, because I do want to obey God and because I don’t want my heart to harden to God’s Voice … and because the “real me” (not the self-centered me) wants to help people … I sent a donation to Renaissance Ministries (before I finished writing this story) to help purchase two blankets.
It is a fact that here at home and in distant lands the opportunities for us to do “good works” is plenteous. Great multitudes of people are in dire situations and are in need of our help. When God asks you to help those in need … do you obey Him? If like me, you’ve delayed obeying God … then do so today. Let us open our eyes and our hearts to those in need this Christmas and year-round. Our obedience to God does make a difference in the lives of many.
(You may read Rev. Jan Beaderstadt’s blanket distribution report in its entirety at: www.renaissanceoutreachministries.com).
Debra Joy Wallace is a Christian columnist and speaker. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.