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FROM THE TREASURER'S DESK
15 July 2018
'IZIKO LOBOMI HELPING HANDS PARTNERS'- Campaign
It is a little bit more than a year since the launch of our ‘Helping Hands Partners' initiative on the 25th of May 2017.
Looking back at this date and event I must say I need to confess that I in particular, was way over-optimistic. Especially with regards to support from our local (Hout Bay, Cape Town, South African) people.
I reasoned that not getting one single response from a half-page, full-colour advertisement in our local newspaper in a way could be explained – the people don’t know us first-hand – yes, that explains it. Really?
Not getting one single response from a church full of people – the people know us, but not well enough – yes, that explains it. Really?
Not getting a single response from some of my own, personal, best friends – they are nice people but hey, life is not easy, we all have our commitments – yes, that explains it. Really?
I try to find reasons as best as I can but must admit: I am deeply disappointed. How can people be so cold and unresponsive towards something we as an Association feel so passionately about? How is this possible?
What could be the reasons, I am asking myself almost on a daily basis?
Expecting a person who stays in a place like Hout Bay or Cape Town to commit on a monthly amount of R100 – surely this is a no-brainer. We are talking coffee-money, movie-money, car-guard-money here. We have some of the richest, most talented people in South Africa staying in our neighbourhoods. But, I say to myself, you don’t need to be one of them. A pensioner will be able to afford this. This just doesn’t make sense.
We have been serving people on a daily basis in a community where 3 out of 10 employable persons are unemployed. This gives us approximately 6,000 in a community of 30,000+. Why are they unemployed? Well because the majority of them do not have skills or qualifications attractive enough for the job market (because of various reasons). Also, many of them can’t work because they are mothers or grandparents who need to care for their children or grandchildren. Many are elderly or not healthy enough to do any work. Also, many of them are foreigners struggling to find job opportunities in a new land. The list goes on and on.
So what then could be the REAL reasons for such a poor response for ‘Helping Hands Partners’?
Well, looking at what God’s Word says, it is no other than a response from people that are not aware of their Biblical responsibility towards the poor and they don't see the crucial role they can play in a poor person's life. Also, I think people are not only in a way disobedient but also, let's be honest, there seems to be an element of indifference – they just don't care enough to be willing to commit to it long-term. This is just asking too much. Maybe not enough in it for them or because there is 'nothing' in it for them. The following passages give us a good idea of God’s view on this:
Mark 12:30-31 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 15:7 - 7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward them. Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need. (NIV)
Proverbs 19:7 - Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done. (NIV)
Proverbs 14:2 – Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honours Him (God). (NIV)
Playing ‘touches’ with the poor
People prefer to play ‘touches’ with the poor and refrain from committing. They treat the commandments of the Lord to share their blessings with the poor as optional, non-compulsory and only when it suits them. People do ‘Hand-outs’ instead of ‘Hand-ups’. Is this how we respond to a God from whom we have received everything we have? Does God only help us when He feels like it? Addressing poverty among people is not a ‘project’ that has a beginning and end date with a specific budget. Serving poor people has no ‘completion date’ and no budget. It continues day after day, month after month, year after year. That is why we need and are asking for long-term commitments.
Ten percent of what we receive, God wants back from us
Malachi 3:10 - Bring the whole tithe (10%) into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
It is estimated that even among church-going people the average percentage coming to God’s storehouse is only 2-4%. Is this OK?
Malachi 3:8 - Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How are we robbing you?' In tithes and offerings.
The HBCCA is an ideal vehicle that makes it possible for the ordinary man and woman to be obedient to the call of God to care for the poor. We have been serving the people of Imizamo Yethu for more than 22 years with dedication and with passion. We would like to encourage you to take hands with us in this huge and important job of serving the poor and I would like to encourage you personally, to do it with enthusiasm and with an attitude of gratitude.
Do not hold back in your generosity because no man will ever be able to out-give what he received from God. We can never do enough for these people and at the same time will store up a treasure for ourselves in Heaven.
We will all have our one-on-one with God one day and let’s be found faithful by God to His great command of love for our neighbour.
Matthew 6:19-21 - “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)
If you are not a Partner yet, please sign up still today!
Thank you to all of our current 'Helping Hands' - you are the reason why we stay motivated and dedicated to this big and very special task. Thank you very much!
God's richest blessings,
Helping Hands Partners - What Is In It for You...
Tim Keller: Blessed Are The Poor
HOUT BAY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Hout Bay, Cape Town