In the Harrisonburg area, as in many areas of this great Conference, we reach out to help those in need. Several churches have built “Give Away” boxes and placed them at the front entrances. The boxes are filled with non-perishable food items, and those who are hungry can stop by and take what they need. Additionally, many of the churches have Food Closets and they are open to give food to those who are hungry. Thousands of pounds of food are collected and given away. Mission Central has just opened its new facility where literally thousands of clothing items are given away to children. Medical Equipment is also given to those in need at no cost. Also, churches open their doors in the winter to let the homeless have a warm place to sleep and eat. This ministry includes all denominations and moves from church to church. There are many ministries, but these ministries show us the importance of caring for the poor.
Deuteronomy 15:11 instructs us to be “openhanded” when caring for the poor. God challenges us to recognize that we will always be surrounded by those who have needs and, therefore, to respond to them with generosity, not a “grudging heart”(vs. 10). Jesus says that in giving to the poor, we receive an enduring treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).
Our generosity may not be recognized by anyone other than God. The world may never see you feeding the poor, clothing the naked, or caring for the sick, but God knows. When we serve those around us, we experience the joy God intends for us when we provide for others.
May we have open hands and hearts when we see those around us who are in need!
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:11 – I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Author: Tommy Herndon