The only thing they did suggest was that we must always remember to help the poor, and I, too, was eager for that. -Galatians 2:10
Over a decade ago, long before the mission organization I lead called ServeNow even existed, I wrote a document on an old computer, that was essentially a dream to one day have a mission organization that would exist to make the dreams or prayers of others around the world a reality. Over the next 8 years I forgot about that document, but continued to have a growing passion in regard to coming alongside pastors and leaders in other countries to ensure their dreams would become possible and prayers answered.
In fact, during those next years I attempted to help in a variety of ways, including calling the church I pastored to respond to needs such as an orphanage in Myanmar, a well in Sudan, aid for persecuted believers, Christmas gifts for children around the world, help for women at risk of human trafficking, supporting missionaries, relief aid for those dealing with disasters, and more.
Personally, we also got involved in giving to various needs, missionaries, organizations around the world, and taking part in many mission trips. Even though we may not have had a lot compared to others in the US, we did what we could and sometimes even beyond that sacrificially. I believe for those of us in America, or those who have abundance compared to most of the rest of the world, we have a responsibility, and also tremendous privilege, to help people in need with far less (or no) opportunity, access, ability or means like we have.
This is part of God’s calling and Scriptures exhortation on all our lives.
How can we live comfortably and complacently when others around the world lack the access or ability to afford basic things such as food, water, shelter, education, medicine, bibles, hearing about Jesus and more? Can you imagine if this was you or your family?
How can we ignore the cries of the poor and yet think God will still hear our prayers? Proverbs 21:13 makes it perfectly clear that, Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. Scripture calls us not to forget and certainly not to ignore the poor. Giving and being generous, is a core part of who God is and who he calls us to be!
Our response to the cries of the poor has an impact on God’s response to our prayers.
That’s not a guilt tactic. Rather, it is a reality of God’s heart, sensitivity and passion for the poor and how seriously he takes our response or lack thereof towards those in great need. How we treat the poor is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus and whether we truly know him or not. (Read Matthew 25:34-46). Jesus made clear, whatever you do (or don’t do) for the least of these my brothers, you do (or don’t do) for me.
Back to my journey. One day, I sat across a table with the founder of a new mission organization called ServeNow. After three hours of sharing all the details of what ServeNow was doing, the founder asked if I would be willing to be trained by him for a couple years to then step into his role as president of this organization.
It didn’t take long to say yes, because as he was going into detail about ServeNow, I remembered this document I had written years before. I went home and found that document and when I compared it to what ServeNow was actually doing, it was eerily identical down to specific countries and specific projects! It was also identical in “philosophy” of ministry in that ServeNow was all about coming alongside local, indigenous pastors, churches and leaders to make their God given visions, dreams and prayers a reality!
It has been an exciting three and a half years of seeing many dreams around the world become a reality and great needs being met! I have found no greater joy than in serving others and being an instrument or conduit through which others prayers are answered. It’s fun to have God answer your prayers, but for God to use you as the answer to others prayers is even better! To then share those stories and ways others are making a true difference is also fun to see the joy not only of the recipients, but the givers.
This year, I am more excited than ever because I believe we are on the verge of seeing some growth in making more dreams, even new dreams, a reality. My “word” for this year has been “growth.” And I am believing God will give that growth, multiply our resources, and enable us to “reproduce” in new ways as he brings new people, new funding, new partnerships, new networks and new projects our way.
But the main thing we are asking for is people. I have come to see money is not the issue. There are reports out there that to end extreme poverty, it would take less than one percent of combined income of the richest countries in the world!
Relevant magazine even came out with an article that showed Christians in the US are only tithing on average 2.5%. If that was increased to just 10% that would be an additional $165 billion!
Do you know what that could accomplish?
ServeNow’s entire budget for everything…is around just $1 million! And yet, over the past five years, we have served over three million people in some specific, direct way! (Read more here to see what $165 billion would accomplish if Christians gave simply 10% according to the Relevant magazine article referenced).
Last year, I asked all our national directors what their dreams would be to see happen in their countries over the next five years if money wasn’t an issue. When we put those plans together and put actual numbers to those dreams, I was amazed because I realized it wasn’t all that far off or impossible: it was just $25 million over 5 years. It’s possible…with people! (see a video on this here: Making Dreams a Reality!).
The point is this: money is not the issue…people are. Jesus said the harvest is plentiful…but the workers are few. God is looking for people. When God has people, when He has our hearts, money will not be a problem, and there will be a great reaping that will take place around the world!
Can you imagine what we could accomplish together and how we could multiply and grow, if we put our hearts, heads and hands together?
My prayer this year is consistently asking God to raise up and send us people, whether that means people going on trips, giving towards needs, volunteering in various ways, engaging others about ServeNow, or joining our staff. I believe if we have the right people, with the same heart, passion and sense of responding to God’s call and commission, we will see the growth we dream of…to make the dreams of others a reality!
What is your dream?
What prayers of others can you be the answer to?
What is keeping you from doing something, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem?
Remember, in the kingdom of God, two loaves of bread and five fish given to Jesus…equal feeding over 5,000 people…with left-overs! Never under-estimate what Jesus can do with whatever you have and give to him!
Here are some of the projects we are dreaming of making a reality that you might be able to be a part of making possible:
- A New literacy Program for Roma Children in Ukraine: Read more here.
- Meeting urgent needs of Sudanese Refugee’s in the third largest refugee camp in the world right now (located in Uganda): Refugee Aid
- Training women at risk of human trafficking with a skill of tailoring, cosmetology, or bakery: Click here.
- Providing School Buildings and Child Sponsorship’s for orphan/disadvantaged children in Uganda.
- Children’s efforts in slums of Asia.
- Medical Clinic’s for people and children who do not have access or cannot afford to see or doctor or obtain even basic medicine.
- Basic Series discipleship booklets for hundreds of churches: Read more here.
- Bicycles for pastors: Click here.
- Where the Need is Greatest: There are many needs and dreams we can respond to quickly through this avenue!
- Monthly Partners: Helps provides a consistency, stability and ability to meet needs.
If you would like to learn more about ServeNow, feel free to visit our website (www.weservenow.org), or contact me to discuss ways you could serve, get involved, volunteer, engage others, or give to specific needs or projects to make others dreams a reality and be an answer to their prayers!
And I was a constant example to you in helping the poor; for I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” -Acts 20:35
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