If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:15-18)
What does it look like when faith and works collide?
If your actions tell the world what you believe, what are they saying?
For those who read my blog regularly, or irregularly as the case may be, you know that I like to focus on groups that do put their faith into action. I like to celebrate those who are more than words (even if I tend to be only that).
That’s the point of my Compassion Wednesday feature. To shine the light on a need and on those that are doing something about it.
Today, I want you to take a look at LivingBread Ministries.
Who are they? To quote from their website:
Living Bread Ministries is leading a comprehensive church planting movement among the global poor.
We plant churches among the marginalized, proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples while assisting them to meet the comprehensive needs of their community.
Our unique approach combines church planting, humanitarian aid, and development work in the context of an indigenous local church.
They are living their faith, day by day, to change the world little by little the best way they know how.
They don’t claim to be better than other “programs” or “church plants”. For one, they’re not another “program” or “church plant”.
They don’t claim to have all the right answers, nor that they can solve everything.
What they do claim is that they love – wholly, completely, unhindered.
Their founder and president, Patrick Hubbard II, shared a story with me that they will share in their upcoming newsletter:
We are always thankful when we see the vision of Living Bread Ministries being lived out in real-life scenarios. Recently, we learned about a family in the Torres community in Brazil where we have a church. Pastor Artênio and his wife Lu met a family who lives in a home patched together with various materials (which is unfortunately very normal for the communities where we serve). Within this family, there are two children living with handicaps. Because of government programs that prevent more than one disabled child in a family from getting assistance, one of the children was adopted by her grandmother. In order to protect the child from insect bites (to which she is severely allergic), she and her grandmother sleep in a tent inside their home.
When first approached by Artêntio and Lu who offered support and wanted to pray with them, this family was resistant. They had been offered help by “churches” before that never followed through with their promises and ultimately took advantage of their situation. However, Artênio and Lu continued to pray for them and offer assistance. Finally, they were welcomed into the family’s home to deliver food kits and other basic materials. They even ask to be prayed over.
Thank you for praying with us for this family and others who are resistant to help, for Pastor Artênio and Lu and our other pastors as they serve their communities in similar ways. Please pray for Living Bread to have the resources necessary to continue this ministry to those in need.
Real people sharing life and love with real people.
Not a program.
Not an agenda.
Faith in action. Love in tangible form.
So, this Compassion Wednesday I bow my head in thanks to organizations like LivingBread Ministries.
I ask you to do the same.
Go make a visit to their website. Take a look at their About page and click through the videos. See how you can lend a hand or offer a prayer. I know they’ll be the better for it.
And, so will you. I promise.
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