The Poor Will Always Be With You

The Poor Will Always Be With You

Posted by Regi Campbell on September 1, 2011

The words of Jesus almost take away the urgency to help, don’t they? In the moment, Jesus was teaching his disciples the difference between the temporal and the eternal, between the practical and the divine. We’ve taken his words out of context and used them to set ourselves free from taking the needs of the poor personally. Because helping people directly is messy and the line between showing mercy and creating dependency is so vague, we institutionalized helping the poor, writing checks so we can avoid being personally involved.

I’m changing that for myself and my family.

I want to change that for the guys I mentor.

So I’ve got to do something. I’ve got to model what I’m teaching. I’ve got to “smoke what I’m selling” as they say.

I’ve engaged with Warm Blankets Orphan Care (www.warmblankets.org), a ministry that rescues children from traffickers and garbage dumps and places them in Christ-centered orphan homes managed by pastors and local churches. The kids are parented by widows from their local community and the homes sustain themselves through micro-enterprise ventures overseen by Warm Blankets. It’s an awesome ministry.

As I prayed about a spending decision yesterday, I came to a new direction. For every dollar I spend on myself for things I want, I’m going to send a dollar to Warm Blankets. After all, the Bible says “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If I love myself enough to buy something I want that cost $200, couldn’t I choose to love my (poor or orphaned) neighbor to the tune of $200?  Could this “dollar for dollar” thing harmonize with loving others just as much as I love me?

Imagine how the poor would be helped, how the world would be changed, how God would be glorified, if we stepped up to a “dollar for dollar” commitment to the poor.

Check this out. Craig Muller, the Founder of Warm Blankets, snapped this photo 30 minutes after these kids’ mom died, leaving them as orphans.

The poor will always be with us. True. But I’m not missing out on the chance Gods’ given me to help. I’m getting in on this deal.

Question:  What will it take for American Christians to take the needs of “the least of these” personally?  Shouldn’t this be second nature to Christ-followers? Why am I just waking up to this at 62 years of age?



Responses (0)

Mark Butler
Mark Butler Posted: September 1, 2011, 2:52 pm

Love it. Heard a quote this morning…

“Even our kind acts are an extension of our selfishness”

Dollar for dollar sounds like a great way to balance the ego.

Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: September 1, 2011, 8:22 pm

Just yesterday, I bought a keyboard case for my ipad. Wanted it. Didn’t need it. It was for me. It was $52. ..writing my check to Warm Blankets today for the $52. I’m praying for those kids as I write the check. This is going to be fun!

kathleen Posted: September 2, 2011, 1:46 pm

It was so good meeting you the other day! Reading this entry was humbling, in a good way. I’m always caught between a sense of utter urgency and the promise of that verse that poverty will never cease; I love how you’ve laid it out here through blog & prayer.

Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: September 2, 2011, 5:03 pm

We usually turn to God in the tension. Life or death. Fight or Flight. I think Jesus left us with this tension regarding the poor so it wouldn’t be easy…so we’d need His help to know what to do. He never relieves us of the responsibility to act, but never burdens us with the job of resolving all poverty. He will end poverty one day….one glorious day when all creation will be redeemed.

Jackie Posted: September 3, 2011, 5:00 pm

Tension is such an accurate descriptor for that place of hard decisions. Seems like the decisions that should be easy–the moral, ethical, sensible ones–take us to that place every time. Then, once we’ve worked up the courage to seek His help, and He eases the tension, we quickly forget what brought us there in the first place. So Regi, thank you for the reminder to acknowledge and be grateful for the tension since it seems to be one of the few places where we truly allow God to be in total control.

Jackie Posted: September 3, 2011, 5:23 pm

Old ways of thinking die hard…

The last line of my response to your insight on tension should read “…where we recognize God is in total control.”


Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: September 5, 2011, 1:47 pm

God wants to be engaged with us. It’s so much better when we respond to His inklings and join Him in His work. The longer we linger, the greater the tension. The quicker we obey and act, the more joy we have; less tension, more peace. And the joy of sharing what God has given us with “the least of these” scratches an itch within us that nothing else quite reaches.

Rob Swartwood
Rob Swartwood Posted: September 24, 2011, 1:46 pm

The title of this posting says it all: caring for others is an obligation that we can’t abandon or overlook. The aching sense driving our decisions to do so is no accident – it’s a condition of the heart that’s only naturally satisfied through real action and follow-through. The impetus driving your own personal 1-for-1 campaign is the same that’s driving many social enterprises today. This concept of “shared value” (a topic which has been studied and debated at length, a concept that continues to burgeon with tremendous fervor) has the potential to revolutionize the way in which we pursue our vocations and our kingdom work. Thank you for sharing the outlet that you’re exploring to fill critical needs – both inside you, and around you.

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