LTRP Note: As we’ve watched interest in the Bryce Homes in Kenya Program drop by Lighthouse Trails readers over the past year or so, we thought it interesting that we received this e-mail from a reader shortly after sending out our Winter Offering for the Bryce Homes Program in Kenya this morning. Thinking that perhaps others shared this sentiment, we are posting the e-mail and our response:
To Lighthouse Trails:
Do you know that we have widows here in the US that are living in poverty. Don’t you think you should help your own windows and orphans first?
Thank you for your email sharing your concerns. We believe we are helping the poor here in the US, in the form of tax dollars that pays for a large welfare system; plus there is help through the countless gospel missions, homeless shelters, and other charitable outlets (and so many of those are good and necessary venues). We understand what you are saying, and yes, we need to help those in need here too anytime we can. However, keep in mind, there is no welfare system in Kenya and many other third-world countries as there is here. There is truly no help for most of the poor. Many of these people don’t even have toilets and clean water. God wants us to care about the poor where ever they are.
Lighthouse Trails has an opportunity to come along side Understand the Times in their international work through the Bryce Homes, which specifically helps Christian families. And remember, this program that Roger Oakland started isn’t just about feeding and housing the poor – it’s about discipling believers around the world for the furtherance of the Gospel. And this does inadvertently help America too. The more believers there are in the world who are following and serving the Lord in truth, grace, strength, and deed, the better off every country and the world at large will be. That is because it is Jesus Christ, who lives in believers’ hearts and who changes people, who makes the only real difference in the world. Humanitarian efforts without Christ, while filling empty bellies, do not help the world in a lasting way.
While Americans are concerned about overly zealous immigration practices and certain involvement in some international affairs, Americans have had a long reputation of helping the needy in other countries. Sadly, much of the government humanitarian money sent to Kenya and other third-world countries has become victim to corruption and never reaches the people in need. With the Bryce Program, we know without a doubt that every penny of donated money goes to our people there because we deliver it directly to them, and nothing is taken out for overhead.
There is a way Christians can reach out to the needy worldwide without hurting their own country. And we are mandated in Scripture to care for those in need. This is what we strive to do through the Bryce Program.
Luke 3:11 – He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Galatians 2:10 – Only that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Acts 20:35 – I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Proverbs 14:31 – He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
A RESPONSE FROM A LT READER
Just read the letter to the editor about how we should not be sending money to people in other countries. Here are some links about how the lifestyle of the poor in the USA compares with that of the poor in other nations.
May our Lord fill our hearts with His love for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in desperate need no matter where they live.
Grace and peace to you. P.B.