Motivation and Background
Compassion is one of the central themes of Christianity and cannot in any way be taken out of the Christian’s dictionary. As it were, compassion is a deep feeling for the afflicted and down trodden with eagerness to salvage irrespective of the redemptive price. Christianity is the fruit of God’s compassion. In the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, He made it clear on several occasions to his disciples the fact that His mission was to have compassion on the sinner. You see, God was touched by the suffering of mankind by reason of sin and the whole rationale behind Christ’s coming was to rescue man from the iniquities of sin. Out of compassion, we had the saviour we now confess as Lord. If the culture is to be maintained, compassion must be the breath of the Christian. Wherever there is no compassion among professing Christians, you can be sure of the absence of the Holy Spirit.
In His redemption assignment, Jesus practically and consistently touched the heart of the poor, needy, lame and less privileged. He put His life at risk and broke laws of the land at the time to demonstrate the urgency in seeking justice for the down trodden. He drove businessmen out of the temple to pave way for the lame and blind to receive His touch. (See Matthew 21:12-14). This class of people were so dear to the Lord such that even before He left for heaven, He made an appeal in their stead, saying,
When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbours, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:12-14, KJV)
The question that follows is this: how many believers do give heed to the Lord’s appeal or organise even a barbecue for such people? Our world today is characterised by selfishness and greed with everyone grabbing for himself, his close allies and profit is being sought on every single service to outsiders. Jesus however tells us to look beyond the gain we shall make today and reach out to the less privileged. It is easy to close your eyes and pretend as though you have no idea of the suffering of others, but Jesus said; the poor would always be with us. (See Matthew 26:11). It is therefore our duty as Christians to seek them out and help. This is what Job said in that regard.
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. (Job 29:11-17, KJV)
In the Scripture passage above, Job teaches us that it is our duty to search for those who need help. Such gesture is an act of righteousness and gateway to blessing. It is amazing Christians today seek blessings in all sort of places and sometimes get spent of their little riches. But the same amount spent in travelling just to meet prophets, sometimes false ones, when given to the homeless boy on the street or the girl who had been sacked for school fees, could be a divine channel of blessing. The word of God is clear enough: “Whosoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard,” Proverbs 21:13.
Nevertheless, an honest assessment of the tussle of life has is that not every individual in the church would be able to embark on rigorous search for the needy. But according to New Testament practises, the church has the mandate to accept donations and distribute it to the needy. (See for example Acts 4:32-37 & 6:1-6). While the responsibility has been neglected by the body of Christ in recent years, the Psalmist inquires and counsels:
How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalms 82:2-4, KJV)
There is really no reason to defer justice for the poor, fatherless and the afflicted but rather with a penitent heart and assumption of responsibility, LCC would like to set running the Compassion Ministry with the objectives below.
Aim and Objectives
Broadly, the Compassion Ministry aims at serving as a body to raise funds and accept donations from members and affiliates of LCC for pursuance of hospitality. Specifically, it objectives shall be:
1. Visit orphanage
The orphanage is basically where children with deceased parents are raised. It is the objective of the Compassion Ministry to visit these children with clothing, food and to create a parental relationship in a manner apt to fill the vacuum created by the real parents.
2. Visit prison and hospital
Inmates of prisons and hospitals are usually force out of the comfort of their homes. In many developing countries, people stay on longer because they do not have enough money to pay off the bills or purchase prescribed medicines. The intention of the Compassion Ministry is to extend help by way of purchasing drugs, food and footing the bills when necessary. The ministry would also work in connection with the evangelism and outreach team to take the gospel to such places.
3. Help the poor but needy in developing countries
In the developing world, there are many who are deprived of the basic amenities of life. Water, food and basic education and hospital are almost non-existent. It is the aspiration of the Compassion Ministry to establish farms, schools, hospitals and provide water in such areas. The vision also includes sponsorship for brilliant but needy students at the post-secondary level of education.
4. Visit and entertain the invalid
Entertainment revitalises life. In most situations, the invalid are left out of the social circles. If the church should also ignore them, we can be sure that this group of people would live in total depression and have a short life-span. But as Jesus already implored us, we ought to make feast for them. The Compassion Ministry strives to honour Jesus’ admonition and to organise feast for the invalid. The evangelism and outreach team would be involved for the purpose of preaching the gospel and ministering deliverance and healing.
5. Support missions and other charitable bodies
Here, the Compassion Ministry would liaise with other organisations seeking to impart and touch the heart of the less privilege in society.
CM – Eye for the blind, feet for the lame, father for the poor and joy to the widow!