Serving the Marginalized
Those who know me, know that I travel a lot. Whether it be visiting Mickey and his friends in the happiest place on earth or showing the love of Christ to AIDS-infected orphans in the slums of India, I find myself abroad quite often and I love every minute of it. The opportunity to interact with people from all sorts of racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds is truly humbling. In fact, the picture that you saw at the beginning of this post was me with a group of Burmese children from a couple years back. I remember that picture like it was yesterday. The kids and I played games, blew bubbles, ate candy and made silly faces at each other because we did not know each others language; we basically became best friends in a matter of hours.
Believe it or not, that picture was not taken halfway across the world, but only about 15 minutes from my house. How is this possible? The short answer to that question: refugees. Now, I know what you are thinking, "Oh, that was totally a set up." And you are right, but not for the reason you think. Now before you write me off as another individual who is trying to make a partisan statement on the status of refugees and/or immigrants in the U.S., know that is not my intent. Rather than add to the political white noise, I want to talk about God’s heart for the poor.
All throughout Scripture, we see Papa God desiring those who are weak and wandering to come into His Heavenly Homeland (If you don’t believe me, Exodus 6 is a good place to start). Despite the overwhelming evidence, it was so easy for me to write off the responsibility of serving the poor because it seems too intangible. Four years ago, when I found out that I would only have to travel 15 minutes to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission, I was challenged to do something about it. This conviction in tandem with the right opportunity became the genesis of the Closer to Love Movement. Our very first outreach was conducting Easter Egg Hunts for refugees. Every year since we have seen God show up and show out as a result of a desire to be obedient to His call. This year was no exception.
With the weather uncertain and financial resources lacking, our team had no idea how we were going to be able to move in obedience to organize these egg hunts for refugees. We almost felt as though we were missing the mark, but we knew the things that hinder us in the natural were no match for our supernatural God. The reality of Godly obedience is that our ability to accomplish what God is asking of us is impossible without Him taking the reigns. So what did we do? We began to pray for God to move. His response? He absolutely showed up! Doors just began to swing wide open. Without any contrived effort of our own, two churches and an agnostic donated a total of roughly $1500 to make sure transportation, candy, eggs, and waters were provided for this Easter egg hunt. Likewise, another church let us use their location for free while two other organizations brought supplies for games and activities. All in all, we saw three churches and three nonprofits come together to be obedient towards God’s mandate to love others. The icing on this already tasty spiritual cake was that though there was a 80% chance of rain and though it was cloudy up until the event, God cleared the skies and the sun shown brightly upon His people for the entire duration of our event! What a beautiful physical representation of what was happening in the spirit: The Son shining God’s love upon His people for His glory. The result was five salvations of refugee children! God spared no expense to make sure His Kingdom was advanced. I am certain of this: God underwrites the things he loves, and if this story is an example of anything, it is that God loves the poor. I challenge you to do the same.
To find out how to get involved by serving in the Closer to Love Community, check out our Facebook page or join us at our next Sanctuary event on April 22nd!
A big thank you goes out to World Relief of Jacksonville, Destination Church, City Church, Deermeadows Baptist Church, and Kim’s Open Door for helping provide the resources for this year’s Egg Hunt!
Post written by Jordan Poole, the founder of the CTL Movement