Guest post by Louis Pool.
Franciscus from Assisi once said: Preach the gospel and use as less words as possible. That is an interesting challenge. How can we give hand and feet to God’s love for this world? How can we walk the talk and start building Gods Kingdom here on earth?
Let me shortly tell you how my wife and myself dealt with that question and how we practice what we preach. In 2008 we started the Heart for Children foundation. We wanted to give our words strength by doing what we are saying… And the Bible tells us that orphans and widows are a first priority. We felt urged with the wish to help homeless and vulnerable children. The first occasion that led us was a children’s home in China for abandoned and disabled children. Abandoned because their parents rejected the children. For two reasons: the children were disabled or over complete. The Chinese had permission for only one child per family. We did some fundraising in The Netherlands and were happily surprised by the results. We were blessed and able to give practical help to a bunch of kids by improving their living circumstances and future.
This is just one example of the many that have come to us over the years after 2008. Nowadays the goal of the Heart for Children Foundation is to give children, whose living conditions are extremely difficult, a chance for a better life. This is done through incidental offering of emergency help during disasters and by sustainable offering safe shelter, food, clothing, medication and education in, as far as possible, a family structure created around the child. My practical tool is the use of fundraising.
I have always been motivated by the biblical story of the Samaritan. We often think that our neighbor is the one who is sick, who is suffering hunger, who is wounded, is in distress or dying. That is not what Jesus points out in the Story of the Samaritan. His teaching in this story is that the Samaritan himself is the neighbor. He was the one looking after the robbed man who was laying half dead aside of the road. He was the one grooming his wounds. Looking at it in this way, our neighbor is any person who comes to me… Who is crossing over to the other and is willing to look into her or his eyes. In our mission we gladly go out to the millions of children that are disadvantaged, orphaned, misused, vulnerable or hurt.
Looking back we are very thankful for knowing that we may help to build a better world, however inadequate one sometimes still feels when faced with the enormity of the problems that confronts us. As Jesus is saying: do not prevent the children but let them come to Me, cause they belong to the Kingdom of God. Lets join and come together to reach out to all who are in need. The world is in great need and there is a lot to do.
Become a neighbor, become a Samaritan!
President Heart for Children