Reaching Out to Those in Need

CIMG0072Many of us are disheartened at the struggles we face in our daily lives as we work to supply all the needs for our families. Yet, if we took our eyes off of ourselves we would see that in some countries people are going through far worse tribulations than we ever imagined – and we would be very humbled. There are people – missionaries – who have forsaken all their own desires of living a prosperous life just so they can help the people who have been horribly ravaged from the damnation of war.

Waqas Arshad lives with his parents and two brothers in a desolated area of Pakistan that has grievously survived the fatal attacks of war, and they are five people who have chosen to help others instead of themselves. As Christians they have a love for people, and God has chosen them to work in a ministry called Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan where they teach the people about the Lord and lead them in praise and worship. But it doesn’t stop there. There are many precious children all around them whose lives have been shattered by the death of their parents and the horrors of war, and this family is trying at their own expense to provide a home for all of them.

As the days go on, they find more and more children and they work to keep and maintain the broken building they call home, and although other caring souls help with food and supplies, it’s not enough. These children are still suffering from the horror that has ripped the joy from their lives, and the fear of it goes on because there is not enough money to supply food, medicine or education for them. Their hope of a better life is very shallow.

Living conditions are unkind as the threat of death from starvation and disease hovers over them. Waqas and his family have given up their own home to live in a worn structure where they carry on with God’s ministry. They have taken in many children to give them a home, but they need a proper orphanage; something bigger and more secure.

If five people can take thirty children out of the debris of garbage and death and give them love and hope for a better life, how much more can ten people give? Or a hundred? Or a thousand? Waqas is asking for our help.

“Greetings in the beloved name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is Waqas Arshad from Pakistan and we are sharing with you that we are happy and thanking God for choosing us to help the orphans and for winning the souls for His kingdom. Our future plan is to build an orphanage for our orphans and we humbly request that you and your church people join your hands in prayers with Care Orphan Organization, and believe with us that God can meet us with our orphans’ needs for this project. Life is very short to complete His work because we believe that we are living in the last days and His return is very near.”

 “Because I delivered the poor who cried for help and the fatherless who had none to help him.” …  Job 29:12

The Mission of Care Orphan Organization

CIMG0121Pakistan has a population of about 175,000,000 and 30 percent of these are children who are suffering from malnutrition. The goal of Care Orphan Organization is to reach those children who live on the streets and whose future is shortened to months because of the lack of care, love, food and medicine. Many of these children have no hope of an education because they are far from the schools and yet they’re smart, ambitious and willing to learn.

…“We thank the Lord that HE gave us this opportunity to run another program, “Care Orphan Support Program”. We have 30 orphan children who are under care of Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan, and as you know, this organization is a non-profit organization. We are helping them with schooling, feeding, clothing, and as well we are teaching them the basics of the Bible because that’s what we believe God has chosen us to do.”

The cost for each child every month is $32 US, so 30 children is costing Waqas and his family and friends $960 every month to care for these children, and this has been a great struggle for them – but now there are more children than there is money to care for them. He is asking for our help; for a commitment to support just one child, to give just one child quality life. They have faith in God that He will provide for their needs because God said to ask and it would be given to them.

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” … Matthew 7:8

God uses people to work with people when He gives His blessings. Will you be one of those people?

…“Please join your hands with us in serving love for our orphan support and in helping these children by giving your token of love and by remembering them with your love in your daily prayers. Amen. Many blessings from Pakistan. Your brother in Christ, Waqas Arshad.”

Waqas is currently working on creating a website for this ministry, and when it’s published it will show everyone the depth of the hurt that these people suffer, and it will give an insight to the challenge that Waqas and his family face each day. If you could make it a monthly commitment to support just one child it would be a tremendous help, but even if you would just make a one-time gift of $30 it would be a blessing and it would give hope to a needy child.CIMG0051

Please send your donations by cheque to Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan:

Attention Waqas Arshad, #6 Bilal Street, Waris Pura, Faisalabad, Pakistan  38000

Nothing brings more joy to a child than love and knowing what it is to be loved. Please help Waqas and his family build an orphanage – a home – so they can continue to be a loving family to these precious children.

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” … Matthew 25:34-36

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Gifts From the Heart

When we first get married, we have a basic idea of how we want to decorate our home. We have a particular theme for our decor such as contemporary or country, and we try hard to turn our home into the picture perfect atmosphere. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always adhere to our desires and so we’re more likely than not to settle for what we get.

Years will pass by and many of our inanimate objects will come and go and then we reach that time in our lives when we decide to toss out all the old stuff and finally get the things that we’ve always dreamed about.  And then finally it begins to happen and that picture perfect decor begins to fall into place.

And then as we look around we realize there are many treasures hidden in amongst our new decor that don’t fit in, that have little tangible value and that are physically less perfect than the rest of the decor. And yet, we don’t throw them out. Why not?

Because these things are our treasures. They are gifts that have been given to us over the years and they hold a great amount of sentimental value that is truly worth more to us than all the great decorations that adorn our home. They’re artwork that our children made over the years, pottery vases that are crooked and unevenly painted, stuffed animals that we’ve always wanted to take apart and sew together properly, candles that we haven’t yet realized what they’re supposed to represent.

Each one of these treasures were given to us from the heart. Someone loved us enough to work as hard as they could to give us something that they thought would make us happy. They don’t match our decor and don’t even blend in, but each one is special to us, and each one has its own story.

Home is where the heart is. It’s the one place in this world where we find peace and joy, safety and protection – and love.  It’s the one place where we can go and know that the Lord is there with us. And these treasures remind us of the love that we’ve shared with those who mean so much to us. So, we spread them throughout our home, and in our mind’s eye they fit in perfectly because they are gifts from the heart.

The expensive decor is nice to look at but these treasures hold an irreplaceable value in our heart. It’s not so much the physical things that are our treasures even though we cherish them. It’s the meaning behind them that gives them such a value as in, who gave it to us and why, and its the love that came with the gift that gives us the warm, fuzzy feeling.

These objects bring out the love and the joy that is in us because it sifts through all the tangible things that this world holds important and it brings to light the truth, and that is the love that Jesus has for us. And He shares this love with our children, our parents, our family and friends so that we can realize that the only real treasure we will ever have is love.

Life takes us through the bad times and the good times, and when we look at these things we’re reminded that nothing that this world can offer can come close to the real treasure that’s in our hearts, and that treasure is love.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”  … Matthew 6:20

Love and Discipline

The concept of disciplining children has become a very controversial issue in today’s world. Some are for physical discipline and others are totally against it and use only “time out” methods. Others just leave their children to learn from the world so they’ll be stronger and able to live above it. Regardless of the reason, when you love your children you know the value of discipline and how proper discipline will mold their character.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 that we should train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

So, as Christian parents it’s our responsibility to teach our children about Jesus and the values of God. It’s our commission to train them in the Word and teach them how to read and study the Bible so they can become  knowledgeable in the things of the Lord. And the purpose of this is so they will get saved and serve the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and body.

But this path isn’t a simple one, and we know that raising children comes with a whole set of trials that can literally challenge every parenting skill we have. One thing about being a Christian parent is that it keeps us in a constant state of prayer as we present ongoing situations to the Lord and ask for His wisdom and guidance through them.

We do all this because we love our children and we want to make sure that they walk that narrow path and don’t follow the worldly flock along the wide path. Our purpose as parents is to be the intercessor for them as we physically train them to be like Jesus.

We know that if we slack off with our responsibility the world will pick up the reigns and lead them away from God. So, we watch carefully and work them but every once in a while we’ll be at a place where we have to stop our children and discipline them for their disobedience. And we do this because we love them – not because we’re angry and not because we need to show them who’s boss.

We can’t ignore them when they need to be corrected, but on the other hand we can’t become abusive and heartless beings, either. We need to have our own values in check at all times so that we discipline for correction and teach them the principles of repentance and forgiveness. We want our children to learn through the disciplinary issues of this life what it means to serve the Lord.

When we love the Lord, we’ll also love our children and we’ll raise them to have love and respect for God, and for people. And when love is the basis for our discipline, then we don’t have to worry that we’re being cruel or unfair and we don’t need to feel as if we have to justify our actions to anyone, because the only one we answer to is God.

There are many types of rods of discipline and each parent knows which one is best for their children. The key issue is to be consistent at all times so that the children know that they will be disciplined if they disobey the rules we set out for them. Our focus is always on the Lord and we need to keep our children focused on the Lord. And we do it all because we know that sometimes love requires discipline.

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”  Proverbs 13:24

Why Do We Need to Love God?

Many religious denominations teach us that obedience is the key to a successful Christian life, but obedience is only one of the contributing factors; it’s not the main issue. For a healthy Christian life we need to love God.

It’s not difficult to develop a love for God when we understand who He is and what He has done for us. The Bible says in John 3:16 that He loved us so much that He sent His Son to be a sacrifice for us so that we wouldn’t have to endure the punishment of sin. Out of love Jesus took our sin upon Himself and was separated from God so that He could take that sin to hell.

This was no easy task for Jesus. He had never been separated from His father before and now He was hanging on a cross, bleeding and broken, with all of our sin and sickness raging through His body while the demons of the devil surrounded Him and waited to drag Him to hell.

A migraine headache is horrible, but He took on everyone’s migraine headaches. And the pain and sorrow of diseases like cancer and heart disease – He took them all upon Himself. Most people have no concept of the torment that ripped through Jesus’s body.

Can you imagine the pain that Jesus suffered with all our sin and sickness thrust upon Him? And this wasn’t just for the people He grew up with, His family and friends who He loved. This sacrifice was for the millions of people around the world who never met Him. All the malicious rapists and murderers that committed hideous and disgusting crimes who we cringe at and hate – Jesus had a love for their souls and took upon Himself even their sins so that if they ever repented and accepted His sacrifice, even they would be forgiven and saved.

When Jesus went to the cross He demonstrated the epitome of love. No other person on earth could ever do what Jesus did. No one would stand in the gap of a child murderer and say, “I’ll take his punishment so that he can stand before God and be clean and forgiven”.  Most people have a hard time forgiving evil doers, let alone wanting God to forgive them and let them into Heaven, and no one in their right mind would ever take on their punishment for them.

But Jesus did because He is God’s Son, and He and our Father both love us with unconditional love. Jesus took our punishment before we even repented – before we even knew Him – and He’s taken the punishment for millions of people who refuse to repent and accept what He’s done. Jesus knew this would be the outcome and yet, He did it anyway. John 3:17 says that He wants everyone to be saved and He never excluded anyone from the blessing.

So, when we look to God we shouldn’t perceive Him as an idol to be worshipped, but as a spiritual being – that we all are – who loves us more than we could possibly know.

Obedience requires a constant chastening of the mind and a control over our actions, but love has no borders, no rules, and no conditions. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sins. It doesn’t judge and it doesn’t condemn. Love is forgiving and gives the opportunity of a second chance.

When we see God as the father of love, and we see what He has done for us and we accept Him for who He is, God gives us His spirit to help us stay in touch with Him. Romans 5:5 says that the love of God is in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. It’s not through our acts of obedience but through the committment of our hearts that unites us with God through His Spirit.

Even in our natural lives it’s easy for us to love and bless our own children, but we don’t have that same feeling towards the children of the neighborhood or of other communities. Just as our children are bonded to us through our relationship with them, so are we bonded to our Heavenly Father through our relationship with Him. And His Spirit is in us and fills us with the love that God has always had for us so that we can also love Him.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

 

 

 

Your money or your life!

 

What can possibly be more important or more precious than money or what money can buy?  The obvious answer would be the gift of life.

Life tops the charts for having the greatest value of anything in this world. Each of us has one life, one person that we are totally responsible for and one life to account to God for.  But does it end there?

Many of us have children and their lives are precious to God. They are blameless and pure and their innocence melts God’s own heart as He watches and listens to them giggle as they play.  He depends on us to care for His children and to teach them the truth so they can  be with him eternally. 

So, let’s care for our children and love them for the precious beings that they are, and when they smile, it’s because they know that He loves them!

Suffer the little children

 

Children are very precious and can light up a room with their smile and bring joy to the lowliest of hearts, but they can also be easily hurt and scarred.

Often in our busy lives we push them away because we are doing something and we don’t want to be disturbed. Maybe we’re finishing a project, or watching the last few minutes of a television show or talking on the phone. We tell them, “In just a minute,” or “Later,” or “I’m really busy right now.”

As parents we work hard providing a home,  clothing and food for them, and we think they should just understand that we love them. But they don’t. They have no concept of what it takes to pay for a mortgage or buy food or clothes. To them, it just happens. And many children don’t care whether they live in a mansion or a shack – just as long as they are with us.

Sometimes we never really find out what was bothering them when we pushed them away or why they needed our attention just then. Sometimes all they need is a hug and the reassurance that we love them. 

It’s not a lot but on the other hand, it’s everything!