Reading Gospel News permits the reader to share in the beauty of fellowship in Christ Jesus throughout the world. As a Sister told me last week, “By reading Gospel News I gain strength and manage to get my life into perspective by learning of my brethren and sisters in other lands”.
It allows us to recognise the plight of other brethren and sisters and their families in many countries and to conclude how blessed we are by the grace of God. I have seen many live in diverse and adverse conditions and under governments of this world that care little for the faith and hope that they hold so dearly. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to extend much love and greetings to all my brethren and sisters in whatever country and encourage them to hold fast to the faith once delivered to the saints in Christ Jesus. Your calling is of God. He knows of you and the difficulties that you continually face. Trust in Him and He will direct your paths.
In the Nov/Dec issue of the magazine, Bro. Marcus spoke of the “downward spiral of poverty” that affects so many of our brethren and sisters in many lands.
This spiral decline, he states, commences with
- an inability to obtain a balanced, nourishing diet, this
- leading to disease and sickness, and this, in turn,
- prevents employment, or even the strength to earn money by the labour of one’s hands, which also
- prevents the ability to care for one’s family and provide education for the children.
Of course, there are priorities in terms of education for the child of God, and we all appreciate that the parents’ first duty in this respect must be to teach their children God’s ways and His paths. Jesus was the Master Teacher, he taught his disciples at all times of the day and all of it was by example. The best form of teaching is not a lecture but by the way we live. Parents as teachers at home should not be so worried about maths or spelling that they miss the one needful thing – sitting down together and learning from our Master through Bible study and prayer. We all appreciate that understanding all knowledge and scoring high in school tests is not the formula for success.
This understood, I am also of the persuasion that those who have been blessed of God who, without exception, live in an affluent society, have a duty and privilege to help where they can those loved by our Master in situations less advantageous than our own. So it was with the churches in Asia, as Paul reminded them, they had a duty to care for the poor at Jerusalem by giving of their wealth.
There are no doubts that with education, with the ability to read and write, to count and communicate, our children are better able to
- money can be earned to care for one’s family, which, in turn,
- is able to pay for the medicines to limit disease and pain and
- to provide food for all to eat.
It was an awareness of these facts that initiated the formation of ‘Heritage Children’ in 2003. Words that are taken from Psalm 127:3 where the Psalmist reminds us that “children are an heritage of the LORD”.
This project was designed to support needy and vulnerable children of brethren and sisters in Nepal. It is targeted at providing education through sponsorship by an ecclesia, Sunday School, family, or individual brothers and sisters. The response has been a delight to see. It gives a very clear message to our brethren and sisters that others in a far off country who share the same Hope of Israel care for them and love them.
Education in itself is but the vehicle of relieving one of the main burdens of the family, thereby freeing up finance to pay for food, medicine, clothes and rent, and in the process ...
Schemes of this nature should always proceed with much careful thought and prayer, with many safeguards in place and, above all, the co-operation and agreement of all the ecclesias involved.
These thoughts are given as a model and not a request for sponsors, as I appreciate that such a project might not be suitable for all occasions. However, it does not mean that when opportunities arise we who are blessed should not fail to meet our duty. As our Father has loved us, so we should love others and help them where and when we are able.
Bro. Peter Fry (Wales, UK)