The Lord makes the point that it has nothing to do with proximity, but that it is mankind. I suggest that a great choice is he who lives next door. Pictured below is a block of previouly poorly maintained and subsidized housing three blocks from where we live.
We are challenged to find answers to the plight of those around the world, and so should we. The criticism has often been leveled that; “We have no idea where the money goes, or how much really reaches those in need.” The excuse then may be the often justified cynicism in not being involved at all. Much has changed because of the current economies around the world…….. need abounds.
The word is explicit as it declares: ” Is not this the fast that I choose; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to let the supressed go free, and to break ever yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; when you see naked, to cover him? Then lest your light break forth like the dawn, and your righteousness go before you. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer. Here I am.”
How broad is that statement of responsibility. How easy it is to find needs. The below mentioned project here is one answer by our small city where there is reasonable accountability, and more rapid response from planning to purposefulness: Three months for organization and contract. Three weeks to rehab and make ready. These young people will transition from need to help and answers.
While we debate the needs and response to those across the continents we might well be considering also the very personal character of the one-on-one ministry the Lord speaks of when He says, even figuratively; “Bring the poor into your house”.
Certainly this is not to disparage answering the needs of any -here or there. It is simply a recomendation that we act upon that mandate given to us. The Lord says: “Here I am” at the moment and point of that immediate need. We say; “Send me!” Then go.