The Child on My Doorstep

Mirroring Christ’s concern for the “last and least”

by David Adcock

Imagine opening your door one morning in your usual rush to get to work. Maybe you are holding a briefcase or some bags in one hand and a coffee in the other. Perhaps you are trying to balance all this while fumbling with your key to lock the door. In your hurry, you don’t notice the small child standing there looking at you until you begin to head to the car. Startled, you drop your keys and stare.

This is no ordinary child. This little girl with the tattered dress, bare feet and enormous eyes is an AIDS orphan. Besides having no one but a slightly older brother to look after her, she is hungry, and the water she drinks is from contaminated sources, making her sick. She says nothing but blankly stares ahead. Her passivity compels a response. Of course, you would drop everything, pick her up, and get her the help she needs. Perhaps you would rush her to hospital or a nearby clinic. Most of us would in some measure get involved and become a part of the solution even while looking to others for help.

erdo

HIV-AIDS has now left 15 million children behind as orphans (according to Richard Sterns, The Hole in Our Gospel, 2009.) Many of the children live in poverty and have no way to get an education, or even clean water or nutritious food. The challenge is that the world’s children are not on your doorstep. They are on the other side of the world, and they don’t impact your life in any way.

Or do they?

When Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4, He read from the prophet Isaiah and laid the charter for His ministry.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”(Luke 4:18,19)

After He had spoken, He rolled up the scroll, sat down and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Proclaim good news to the poor … freedom for prisoners … recovery of sight … set the oppressed free … Jesus was saying that this is how you know the kingdom of God has arrived: the poor hear and see the good news, basic human needs are met, and people have a stake in their future. Jesus proclaimed, “This is who I am!”

God calls us to reflect Christ’s heart for the marginalized and brokenhearted. We know we are to mirror Christ’s concern for the “last and the least.” But somehow it’s easier with the child on my doorstep. I can look into her eyes and see her pain, and her presence compels a response and some action on my part. When I think about millions of children half a world away, the distance and overwhelming numbers create questions about where to begin. How can I care about so many who are so far away?

african childMax Lucado said, “In God’s plan, when all of us do something, then something wonderful starts to happen.” ERDO gives you many opportunities to “do something.”

Children have access to medical care, education, food and school supplies through your sponsorships in ChildCARE Plus. You can literally change the entire lives of these children for the better. In 2010, more than 6,400 children received help through sponsorship.

Fresh water is reaching families through the drilling of wells. Fresh water means that many diseases are prevented—diseases we don’t experience in North America. ERDO has large ongoing water projects in Guatemala, Uganda and Bangladesh that need your help to be completed.

Every five seconds, another child dies of hunger and hunger-related causes. Today, numerous families will try to survive on less than $1 a day—the average wage for many in the developing world. ERDO provides food in areas of the world devastated by famine and drought, flooding and other natural disasters. With a matching donation from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency), our donations go farther to reach families who are hungry. ERDO’s food aid programming is working in some of the poorest areas of the world such as Uganda and the Congo.

ERDO responds when natural disasters leave people without the resources to meet their most basic needs. Just one recent example of this is assisting people in Pakistan to recover from the monsoons and flooding that left 20 per cent of northwest Pakistan covered in water. The loss of livestock and infrastructure—not to mention the enormous loss of life—meant that over six million people had no access to water, food or shelter. ERDO was and is there, providing critical resources such as food kits, practical items like tents and mosquito nets, as well as hygiene kits and emergency health care through mobile health teams.

Whether we are helping thousands or a single child in poverty, ERDO—with the help of Christians like you—is doing good.

Imagine opening your door one morning in your usual rush to get to work. Maybe you are holding a briefcase or some bags in one hand and a coffee in the other. Perhaps you are trying to balance all this while fumbling with your key to lock the door. In your hurry, you don’t notice Jesus standing there looking at you until you begin to head to the car. Startled, you drop your keys and stare.

It’s your move …

ERDO (Emergency Relief & Development Overseas) is the humanitarian agency of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ERDO is involved in four key areas: Crisis Response, Food Relief, ChildCARE Plus (Child Sponsorship), and Community Development. David Adcock is the CEO. Visit www.erdo.ca.

This article appeared in the March 2011 issue of testimony, the monthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ©2011 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

Give

 

No comments yet.

Your Opportunity to Share and Inspire Others