One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Acts 3:1-5 NIV
I had the honor to represent our church family at a recent Convoy of Hope event. Our church partners with Convoy of Hope who specialize in two things. The first being Natural Disaster Response all over the nation bringing food, water and other things needed when tragedy strikes like a tornado, hurricane, or strange storms like we saw in Iowa over the summer. During this pandemic, with the loss of jobs and a blow to our economy, many in our nation needed to be fed. Convoy of Hope had a goal of providing 10 million meals to those in need. The number and the need grew fast and quicky they were surpassing 100 million meals. That is a lot of food and a lot of semi-trucks rolling up and down the interstates to get that food where needed. The second thing and I have seen firsthand is they provide a feeding initiative that feeds over 300,000 children around the world. Children are fed through school and orphanage programs. Every day, a child knows they are going to eat. Through a program they call One Day to Feed the World, they also help families through women empowerment programs that help single mothers begin businesses and agriculture training that are transforming villages with new crops producing an economic turnaround. All of this done to help people feed their families.
One of the things I came away with was the importance of not only seeing the need but have the ability and the partnerships to do something about it. For Convoy, they see the need that drives every nations economy and security – FOOD! Think about this for a minute. Earlier in the year when the Pandemic hit and we started to see things missing on the shelves of our grocery stores, how did it make us feel? I believe the answer to that is – VULNERABLE! Not just food, how about toilet paper? What was that all about? It is all about security. We want to make sure we have what we need. This is no different in places across the globe who experience hunger every day. Convoy had learned that if you can take away the hunger problem, you can bring healing to so many other areas. This is why we as a local church partner with them. Click here to check out all they do.
When Peter saw the crippled man, he saw the need. It was not silver and gold. Though that could have helped, it would not have taken the man out of his need. The man needed to be healed. If he could walk, he could work. If he could work, he could eat. But let’s go beyond his needs. What else could he do? If the man could walk, he could now help others just like the many who helped him before as they carried him down to his familiar place to beg for a living. When we are used to meet the need before us, it impacts and changes so many lives. I have heard stories from Convoy of Hope about students who benefited from the feeding program now going back to their schools to help. Once they could not study because they could not concentrate from the hunger pains and fear. Now, transformed and changed they are taking their miracle and investing into the younger students. This is awesome!
In the midst of a pandemic, it is easy to stay focused on what we need. That is why we hoard the toilet paper. I am not condemning your fully stocked bathroom closet, but I am encouraging you to look further out of your box. Yes, take care of your needs, but know that when we are taken care of, it is to position ourselves to be a blessing to others. We can see the need, meet the need and leave the results to God. For Convoy of Hope, they started in a pickup truck delivering groceries. That simple act of obedience has grown into a world wide distribution center that is changing lives. I encourage you to partner with Convoy too, but also see the need in your community.
Take for example what one of our Life Groups in our church are doing. Our school is about to have some of our younger grades come back into the building. A few of the parents saw the need for prayer. They know the anxieties of parents, teachers and students. So, we reached out to the school and asked for permission to come and pray on the grounds as a church family to prepare for the weeks of transition ahead. The school was blessed by the thought. This Life Group saw a need and now they are going to take the power of prayer and the love of Jesus and declare it over their community and school. Ideas are like masks as the billboards and special service announcements say... They only work if you use it. See the need and allow God to spur you to action.