A blessing of the volcano eruptions is it has highlighted the need for financial help in many areas of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Poverty is a huge issue in many of our communities even without a natural disaster, so now more are needy than ever before.
The generosity of friends and local Churches has allowed me to begin meeting the needs of those in the community. Twenty bags of food were distributed over the weekend, and I’ll distribute another fifteen this afternoon. Along with this, I’m in the process of distributing thirty cases of bottled water.
The Lord has also provided funds from the US that will fund a food bank in Kingstown, and barrels that will arrive from the States in coming months.
While I am encouraged by the opportunity to give, its discouraging because the need is so great.
For every family that receives a bag of food relief, there are three or four families who need it!
The sad truth is you cannot help everyone. So while doing your best to meet everyones needs, it’s necessary to emphasise help on a small group of people.
As a missionary my primary responsibility is to those who attend Tabernacle Baptist Church. So relief is given first to members of the Church, as well as those who attend faithfully.
That’s actually the easy decision
The hard choice is what to do with the relief thats left over…
I’ve thought and prayed over that question a lot. For me personally the answer is those who are in the greatest need.
These are individuals who I would define as being in the “greatest need”
- Shut in’s: Older saints who cannot leave the house, and are often forgotten
- Families with lots of children (three or four)
- Single mothers
- And those men who are looking for work, but cannot find any
This doesn’t mean of course that you don’t help others when they ask for it. While delivering water yesterday two families who weren’t on my list asked for some, and I gave it to them with a smile. But there must be an emphasis of help with individual families.
There are four families who live near a church member. Over time, I’ve developed a relationship with them, and the Lord has really placed a burden upon my heart for these families at this time.
This burden led me to help them in practical ways….
- Like filling bottles with water, and delivering it to them when they didn’t have any
- Giving out bags of food
- And checking in to see how things are going every day
There is also a woman who is in GREAT financial need in the community who the Lord placed upon my heart. I’ve been able to provide bread, groceries, food, and even ripe bananas to her.
There’s another single mother near me who has very little, and is struggling to make ends meet. The Lord let me help her with money for her stove-gas when it went out Friday, and groceries Monday.
I do realise there are a huge number in need. And if I could, I would minister to every one of them individually. But because that isn’t possible, I minister to those the Lord places upon my heart