In Galatians 2:9 Paul says, They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
Are you remembering the poor?
Living in Mexico these past three years has introduced a challenging and radical aspect to our lives. We are living here in the midst of the poor. The poor are everywhere. This offers a constant challenge, as Christians, to know how to respond. As so many things in life are, it is a matter of the heart.
I often find my heart gripped and tears forming in my eyes with the things I see. The Christmas outreaches we do are in the midst of the poorest of the poor.
Of course there are poor in America and Great Britain and other western nations. But it is different here. There is little or no government assistance. If you don’t work you don’t eat. And in our experience most everybody wants to work. So, I might use the term “working poor” to describe what we have experienced. They want work and will do most anything to put food on the table.
Women clean houses all day for $12 – $20, which is a good days’ pay. Men work construction, are security guards, and gardeners for the same $12-$20 a day. This is $2.00 – $3.00 per hour. They work happily and do excellent work. And this does not even mention those who pick in the fields and work in factories for $7-$10 dollars a day. Back breaking work.
The Mexicans are hard workers and grateful for any employment. The ones we have known are very loyal and trustworthy as well. Today, we are having Adrian, the gardener and security guard for our little community here, do a total rework of our plants and trees around our house. He brought his wife and daughter to help this afternoon. Adrian’s wife cleans houses and he gardens to support themselves and their three children.
There is a couple in the local church who are both out of jobs right now. She cleans houses and he does odd jobs as he can find. They both have had no work for weeks. A relative just died and they cannot afford the small fees for a funeral. Siloe Clinic was able to help with the costs of the funeral.
Back to Galatians 2:9. As Christians we are commanded to remember the poor. The challenge for many in the west is how to do that. Even if you have a heart to do so, it can be difficult. There of course are large charities you can give to, but there can be little satisfaction in knowing it really makes a difference in lives.
I want to let you know that Brendan and Sarah, our son and daughter-in-law, through their ministry here, Siloe Clinic, have a Family Fund — a fund through which they meet important and urgent needs. They give to those they know, mostly believers who have significant needs — the “working poor.” They try to provide employment when that is possible as well. This is outside the normal ministry of the medical clinic, but part of living here and remembering the poor.
My wife and I give monthly into this fund. We have seen our money enable a mother and her children to be removed from an abusive, drug addicted husband, to temporary housing in a safe neighborhood. We have seen a family who suffered the loss of their infant son find a trailer for their parents to live in while the family grieved.
In obedience to Galatians 2:9, if you want to find a channel to give funds to help the poor, I can assure you that your money will be used wisely to meet specific needs and relieve significant burdens. You can go here to the Siloe Clinic website and read about the “Family Fund.”
It is more blessed to give than to receive. Make sure you are experiencing the joy of giving to the poor.