What does it mean to help the least of these? What does Yeshua mean, when He tells us what we do or don't do for the least of these, we do or don't do, for HIM? It's a startling, humbling question. And often times, it doesn't look like what culture says it looks like. In our homeschool week last week, we focused much of our attention and love on looking at the verses that address this.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’"
Compelled by the millions of refugees fleeing Syria for their lives, we did what we could to show the kids what tangible love looks like. We had a blessed evening packing and praying for the Syrian refugees. The kids packed individual hygiene kits with their friends (division, multiplication, fractions, addition, subtraction...) and we boxed up blankets, shoes, socks, sheets, maxi pads and more. We prayed over the supplies before dinner and read to the kids from the verses of what our Lord says about such matters, then we found on the globe where they are fleeing from as well as the countries, so far, that are letting them in. Not enough. 11 million. Eleven million refugees!! More than the entire population of the state of Michigan. So overwhelming. Lord, move us all to make a way.
The hygiene kits to MD were $15 to ship. We used International Orthodox Christian Charities. Here is a link to their website with instructions: http://www.iocc.org/kits.aspx
We got the address for Greece from author Ann Voskamp. Her touching blog, "Dear Alyan" about the little boy washing up to the shore is enough to move anyone to tears and action. Please take the time to read it here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/09/dear-alyan-dear-world-with-a-refugee-crisis-dear-all-of-us-who-have-needed-to-be-welcomed-in/
The shipment to Greece was the one I knew would be super expensive, because we did one huge box with shoes and blankets, etc. in it. That one was $93. We have had some people donate toward that, so that is a blessing. Praying it gets exactly where it needs to be.
I am not going to take the time to address much of the response people have as far as not helping, or the dangers that come from helping non-Christian families in need. I would just urge those in doubt to read the verses that I started this post with.
And, for those still needing some kind of thread to hold in regard to conversion---which, I agree with a recent post that points out that "to tie humanitarian needs to conversion is sick"---but alas, I will share from one outlet that exposes there are hundreds reportedly finding Christ through this process.
"CBN News SHOCKING: In Germany, hundreds of Muslim refugees are turning to Christ at a Berlin church. The Evangelical Trinity Church has swelled from 150 to 600 members in just two years, and many are Muslims fleeing Iran and Afghanistan.
Mohammed Ali Zonoobi, an Iranian asylum seeker, was recently baptized.
"I feel like I am born again", he sobbed. http://go.cbn.com/2815
Guess what? I would still love my enemy, regardless.
Are there political powers at play? Absolutely. I pray we can, as a society, push past the politics, and see the PEOPLE.
Here are the other verses we looked at throughout our home learning journey last week in connection. I pray they bless you, as they have continually blessed us.
Luke 6:27 - "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."
Exodus 23:5 - If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
Acts 7: 60 - And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Mark 11:25 - And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."