Remember the Poor

Galatians 2:10 “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”

“They’re here!” It had all come together at lightning speed. The time between our first meeting with Bethany Christian Services to the night the Congolese family of four arrived at the airport happened in a way only God could orchestrate. Our church was adopting a refugee family….

In a matter of two weeks, we had secured an apartment and furnished it with all the basic essentials and more. Everything from bunk beds for the two young children to a beautiful picture one of our ladies had painted with the words “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” in Swahili. As we gathered at the airport to greet them with flags, signs and boisterous cheers, many of us found tears hard to suppress.

We soon learned John had been in a refugee camp for over twenty years. Twenty years is a long time to be without a place to call home. He came to America in hopes of finding stability and a future for his family. To think the Lord was asking our small church body to participate in that hope was both an honor and challenge.

In a very tangible way, we were given opportunity to remember the poor.

The one thing James, Peter and John asked Paul and Barnabus to do as they sent them on their mission to the Gentiles was to “remember the poor.” Interestingly, Paul responded it was the very thing he was eager to do! We can’t dismiss the high priority the early church placed on reaching out to the less fortunate and disadvantaged. It mirrors the love of Christ.

Lately, I’ve been asking God each day to show me a way I can remember the poor. Helping the refugee family has provided ample opportunity, but I don’t want to stop there. Maybe it manifests in something as simple as putting more change in a tip jar or gathering clothes for the rescue mission. In being more intentional in my prayers. Maybe it begins with living a life of gratitude. Of resisting the entrapment of materialism in my own life.

Whatever form remembering the poor might take, I believe it’s a mindset we should, like Paul, be eager to embrace. How about you?

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