“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.”  ~Ezekiel 16:49

 

“Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.”  ~Proverbs 28:27

 

“Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.  And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.  For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people.  But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.”  ~Jeremiah 22:3-5

 

“Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar?  To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?  Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain.  For all his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.” ~Isaiah 10:1-4

 

“He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.” ~Proverbs 21:13

 

“‘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.'” ~Matthew 25:41-45

 

These verses have been with me a lot, recently.  I’m taking an Ethics class at Phoenix Seminary and it strikes me just how much many evangelicals of the western world take pains to aggrandize our own wealth and comfort, not realizing that often, our excess is detrimental to others.  I’m not exempt by any stretch.  I may not be rich according to American standards, but I’m certainly very rich when compared to the rest of the world.  It absolutely breaks my heart to know how stingy I’ve been with my resources.

For example, I’m preparing to move to an apartment closer to my church and my grad schools (yes, I said “schools”), and so of course I need to streamline my personal property and downsize a bit.  I’ve got a designated place in my room for all the accoutrements I want to dispose of and give to charity.  Time out.  I’m giving my refuse to charity?  The things I have that I don’t like or that don’t fit me?  It seems so akin to giving God the last few minutes of my day when I’m tired, or talking to my loved ones only when it’s convenient.  Maybe those aren’t good examples, but if I do anything to “the least of these,” I’m doing it to Jesus Himself.  And when I think of how little I’ve truly done (for the least, and therefore for Jesus), I feel extremely convicted.

So, I’ve compiled a list of places to go to help out.  Some I’ve worked with before, others I’ve merely heard of.  All reputable from what I understand, but if you know differently, please tell me and I’ll remove it.

 

1.  www.worldvision.org.  You can sponsor a child here or donate to the general fund, purchase wells or animals for those who need them, etc.

2.  www.finca.org.  This is an organization that works with microloans.  For a small price, you can help someone in a developing country build a business so they can feed their family.

3.  www.streetlightphx.com.  This organization exists to eradicate child sex slavery.  Did you know that if you even view pornography, you are almost certainly supporting the child sex industry?  It’s simple supply and demand.  Check the website and see what they’re doing with this important work.

4.  www.mentorkidsusa.org.  It is what it sounds like.  Mentor a child and be a positive role model.  Lots of kids don’t have good people in their lives (I see this a lot in my own field of work).  If you can’t mentor, there’s a place to donate.

5.  www.compassion.com.  This is similar to WorldVision.  You can sponsor a child and learn a lot about advocacy.

6. http://www.fh.org.  Food for the Hungry (FH) works to meet physical and spiritual needs globally.  A very reputable organization.

7.  www.casaforchildren.org.  I have worked with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) before.  They get to know kids who’ve been abused or neglected (including CPS wards) and advocate for their rights.  Very important people.

 

There are many more I haven’t listed, but these are good places to start.  I pray we all learn that a little sacrifice goes a long way for those whose voices are not heard.

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