First Sabbath Offering for World Disaster Relief
“The poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
“And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee” (Leviticus 25:35).
Have you ever imagined coming home on a given day and suddenly face an earthquake, hurricane, or flood? Imagine, everything you took your whole life to build, is destroyed in a matter of minutes? Every year, around the world, thousands of people face this ordeal—falling into great poverty and need. Among these crowds are our brothers—members of the church—who are part of our family, and who, after a natural disaster, are deprived of everything they have, becoming dependent on support to start a new life. Over the past year, they have faced it all—fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and even volcanic eruptions. In all these cases, we feel our God protecting His people, saving lives and property. However, in many situations, the welfare department of our church has had to invest means to provide food, water and medicines, rebuild homes and churches, assist families who have lost crops, provide medical treatment, and sometimes even provide for emergency surgeries. At such times, the money from the offerings collected annually for the worldwide fund for natural disasters is a boon in the lives of these brethren. Our giving can go to them to help provide shelter, stability, and the comforting feeling of belonging to the family of Christ.
“Many are God’s promises to those who minister to His afflicted ones.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 306. Remember, as we open wide our hand to the poor and needy, we are contributing to our brother who is part of the Master’s family. Let us each do our best and be sure that our God will greatly bless our life and multiply our resources, for our money will be of great value to take care of our brethren who suffer in the most difficult places in the world.
The General Conference Welfare Department