What to do?

James 1:27

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

SYRIAN REFUGEES IN LEBANON:

Young girls forced into ‘survival sex’, six-year-olds made to pick potatoes for cash and boys of ten working as car mechanics: The shocking truth of child exploitation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Link to article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3369182/Young-girls-forced-survival-sex-six-year-olds-pick-potatoes-cash-boys-ten-working-car-mechanics-shocking-truth-child-exploitation-Syrian-refugees-Lebanon.html

What to do? That’s a whole lot more than the title of this post.  It’s a real question I struggle with.  Not whether or not to help, but figuring out how.  There is so much pain in the world that I sometimes just sit here, frozen by the enormity of it.

I do know that the first action is to pray. Prayer is our usual last resort.  We’ve done everything we can.  “All we can do now is pray.”  As if this is – excuse me – some sort of Hail Mary play with a barely 50/50 chance of succeeding.  No, prayer is the first resort.  It’s our dialing up the most powerful, resourceful Being in the universe.

I know; it doesn’t feel that way at all. We pray, sigh, and then go to McDonald’s for some breakfast.  For all we know, nothing happened.  But that is quite wrong.

Pray first. Include in that prayer for God’s guidance on what you can do to help out.  For the problems in the Middle East and Europe, what organizations can you get involved with?  And I’m not thinking just about money.  My church supports missionaries and causes.  We send money to African churches to support their startup and continuing work.  We recently sent boxes of stuffed animals to children in Haiti.  Our members travel to Africa to physically help out on projects and evaluate needs.

If you are involved in a church, check with your denomination to discover what international…or domestic…initiatives you can support and get involved with.

I have friends in Toledo who founded Friends of Russian Orphans (FORO). The mission statement is to spread the love of Christ through practical help and assistance.  We have rewired an orphanage that was in danger of burning down, installed restrooms where there was only a hole in the floor, built a small gym, help dozens of families adopt orphans from Russia, sponsored training programs so kids can learn a trade, sponsored cooking competitions between groups of kids to teach them how to eat well economically, and, of course, let them and their caregivers know the Americans came all this way, because we are doing what Jesus wants us to do; help widows and orphans.

Here is their website: http://fororphans.org/

There are many people around the world who need help. You might say there is plenty to do here in the US, and you’re right.  There was plenty to do in Jerusalem and neighboring towns in the 1st Century.  Peter was called to attend the church in Jerusalem.  Paul’s commission was to the Gentile; and that’s a real irony, by the way.  He was a “Jew of the Jews,” a top-shelf religious authority, and gets to go to the Gentiles.

Some are called to work in their community. Some are called to the orphans of Russia.  Some are called to the Middle East.

So…what to do? Always remember: PRAY  FIRST!  The open your eyes a bit wider.  Look around to see what God sets in front of you to do.  Your task today may be one person.  It may be an introduction to an organization.  Just always have your Good Works Radar on high to see those good deeds, which God has prepared in advance for you to do.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

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