From the desk of Pastor Lanny Kilgore
I just returned from my seventh trip to minister to the people of Roatan, Honduras. With each trip it seems my eyes become increasingly aware of the plight of the poor. There is something that is visible in the eyes of a poor person, something etched on their faces that is scarcely seen in the land of plenty. For me it is like a magnet, something attractive and even beautiful. I have come to suspect that it is very likely the presence of Jesus, for he suggested that he would be found among the poor. Its tempting in this world to seek out the rich and the wealthy, to find a place next to a person of means, but I have found great joy in the company of the poor.
On this particular trip, I joined others in conversing and visiting the homes of those without sufficient food and water. Who would have thought that a box of cornflakes or a barrel of water would be so appreciated.
It has happened many times on my visit; encounters with the poor seem to generate generosity. Experiencing the imbalance of wealth in the world moves a person toward attempting to make things right—at least those who have a heart. What kind of person would not move to offer a seat on a crowded bus if there was room next to her to those left standing. Would we not all think poorly of the child who sits in the lunch room consuming their well packed lunch without offering at least a little to the boy sitting next to them who forgot his ?
John Wesley once said; “When a man becomes a Christian, he becomes industrious, trustworthy and prosperous. Now if that man when he gets all he can and saves all he can, does not give all he can, I have more hope for Judas Iscariot than for that man!”
Those who know their bible know of those infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We are quick to judge them and acknowledge God’s judgement upon them for their sexual promiscuity. But a careful reading of Scripture will also expose their sins of neglecting the poor, as evidenced in the Scripture I posted at the start of this article.
There are many things we learn as we grow older that we wish we had known at a much earlier age. For me, it has been the importance and the joy of sharing with the poor. If you have not yet learned this lesson, perhaps this may help you become better educated. It is my opinion, and I think I have the mind of God in saying this, that every person should set aside at least some portion of their income that goes to the poor on this earth. There are multiple ways and avenues which make this possible–not the least of which is to give 10% of your income to a mission-minded church. I would not want to spend my life or go to my grave without knowing in my heart that I gave strict attention and made honest effort to do my part in addressing the imbalance of wealth and resources in the world. I for one do not want to face those in heaven who were poor here on this earth and have them say to me: “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, thirsty and you offered me no water.”