In Luke 10:25-37 we see that a rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said, "What does the law say?" and the young ruler answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus answered "You've got the correct answer. Do this and you will live." But in a desire to justify himself the young ruler said "But who is my neighbor?" and Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, a man who took time out of his busy life to stop and care for another, despite not knowing him at all. Throughout scripture we see that connection between loving God and loving others. In fact, in 1 John we are told that we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we cannot love our brother, whom we have.
The Good Samaritan is a story we have all heard so much that we probably have quit really hearing it, if you know what I mean. Yet we - especially those of us in North Alabama - are in the midst of this very story and we have a choice. Will we continue on our busy way, crossing the road, driving AROUND the damage all around us, ignoring it now that we have our power and conveniences back? Or truly sacrificing of ourselves, our resources, our time, our energy, really seeing and noticing the need of our neighbor? Are we satisfied with "tipping" our neighbor (and I realize that I am challenging myself here) and giving something that is truly not costly when what is needed is our full involvement, our full commitment?
When the tornadoes hit Alabama, Phil and I wondered how we could help and how the Give Worship Project could get involved. Our church, Epic Church, in Decatur has done a phenomenal job in providing housing and supplies for those in neighboring counties (not just in Decatur) who are uninsured and /or having their claims rejected by FEMA. (ironically, usually because they don't have insurance!) Friends, they are working with the poor, the forgotten, those who have no other help, those who have lost it all - usually these families are in very poor, rural areas. So we decided to partner with their efforts and are excited to have had friends of the GWP provide TWO trailers to needy families - one physically donated and one bought through monetary donations. We'd love to keep on providing! Epic has the names of 62 families who do not have homes, or insurance or help from FEMA. Many of them are living in tents or sleeping in their cars if they have one that survived the storms.
Let's get to work on providing our third trailer! Be creative! Take up a collection at work, or in your ministry team or small group or church. You can make a big difference in a family's life!
Go here to give: www.giveworship.com
You can also donate a used car! All gifts are tax-deductible!
Read below for a wonderful testimony from Sonia Brown, whose family chose to donate their travel trailer to a family in need.
"With so many affected after the tornados, it was extrememly hard to know how to even help. My heart bled for these people who lost so much. We like many, spent the following week helping the neighborhood dig it's self out of the endless trees that had fallen everywhere. Including right down the middle of our neighbors home. They were ok thankfully and they also had a great insurance company that really got things rolling for them in their whole process. Which led me to think about those who didn't have insurance and what that would look like if you had such a disaster happen to you and not know where to turn for help.
One night I was out on our back porch and happened to see what was now our eye sore of a travel trailer in our back yard. Not that it was ugly, but you see, we had bought this trailer to stay in while we finished building our home. I was surprised at through that process how much I began to really appreciate that trailer. It was home for the time, and it was all that we had to provide shelter for our 3 little ones. But after 3 months and a very hard winter, I couldn't run fast enough into our finally finished home. I thought to myself, how wonderful that would be to be able to give it to one of these families that had just lost everything. Then, I saw Jan's post the next morning. I didn't have any money to give since my husband just retired from the military and hasn't found another job yet. But I did have this trailer. After talking it over and calling Jan, it led us to Epic Church in Decatur. Which was great, but I was a little saddened that it wasn't going to someone up the road here in my community. Either way, it was still a need and we were ready to give. The people were wonderful and excited. They came and picked it up. They informed us then it was going to a family just a couple streets over. They didn't know what I had secretly hoped for, but God sure did. I believe he heard that whisper of my heart. I think if we look around long enough, God will show us how to love on these people. We are so thankful for the opportunity to serve in such a way."
The pain and need around us demands that we become people who give sacrificially. This is our chance to be like the Good Samaritan.
How can you stop and care?
Call me if you have questions!