Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV) James 1:27
Nearly 60% of the people in Lesotho live at poverty level…many families live on less than $1 a day.
“Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult.” -Samuel Johnson
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. (NIV) Deuteronomy 15:11
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Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and his desire overcomes 2 obstacles, the crowd and his own height. He runs ahead of the crowd. Can you imagine the site? Here’s a little rich guy running ahead of the crowds. When he reaches the 30-40′ high tree, he climbs the short trunk and perches on 1 of the spreading branches. Evidently he did not worry about looking ridiculous!
Zacchaeus thought that he was seeking Jesus, when in fact Jesus was seeking him. Jesus reaches the spot. He looks up and in the midst of many, Jesus sees one man. He calls Zacchaeus by name. Jesus knew his name and his character. Jesus did not see who he was from the outside. . .God does not look at the things man looks at. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). So what did Jesus see when He saw Zacchaeus?
** Jesus saw a man being held captive by his own sin
** He saw one who had been beaten down by the world. . .one who had been deceived by the promises of life
** Jesus saw a man who was dieing inside
As we go through life we often feel insignificant. But, one life does matter. Zacchaeus is one seemingly insignificant man who was noticed by God.
In the midst of this crowd Jesus sees you. He knows all about you…
** How you spent the day yesterday
** Your disappointments and the pain you’ve experienced, as well as your successes
** Your frustrations
** Your fears
** The decisions you are facing
** Your worries
He knows when
** You feel like giving up
** You are down
** You are happy
** He knows the answers to your questions
In the midst of many, Jesus sees one…YOU. And cares for YOU!
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
-1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36)
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ (Matthew 25:41-43)
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:44-46)
Who do you see around you?
“DEFEND the cause of the weak and fatherless; MAINTAIN the rights of the poor and oppressed; RESCUE the weak and needy…” – (Psalm 82:3-4)
It is from these words in scripture that we find one of God’s greatest calls – the call to look after the poor and needy. And it is from these word’s that we have found our mission, to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of the children in Lesotho and South Africa…Would you help us as we seek to provide the blankets, scarves, gloves and hats which will help keep these children warm over the upcoming winter months (May-September) in South Africa.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (NIV) Matthew 9:36-38
Jesus saw that the people were helpless. . . His heart went out to them. . . and as a result, He took action! Hundreds of thousands of people needed to know the Savior, so He sent His followers to go out to the people and share about the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ disciples were “His feet” going out to share the Good News, “His hands” ministering and healing the people, and “His mouth” telling others about Him. They may have been few in number, but they had a radical impact on the world!
Today, we are called to be “Jesus’ feet” going out into the world to share the Good News that God loves men, women, and children. . . and He wants to have a relationship with them. We are called to be “Jesus hands” ministering, serving and spiritually healing those who are hurting. And we are called to be “Jesus’ mouth”, having a ready answer on the tip of our tongue as to why we have hope for the future.
Who around you needs a relationship with God? Are you being God’s feet and going to them? Are you being His hands and reaching out, listening, empathizing with them, and developing a relationship? And are you being Jesus’ mouth, sharing the most important message of all time. . . that Jesus Christ died to pay the price for the sins of all men and women?
We may be few in number, but we can have a radical impact now and in eternity!
Written by Marji “Mike” Kruger
It’s tough to look a child in the eyes and see one who has been unloved and uncared for. It was during my first experience in Lesotho in 2007 that I looked into the eyes of these children and made the commitment that I would keep coming back to care for and love the least of the least in Lesotho and South Africa.
I’m still honoring that commitment, and with that commitment comes the desire to do more to provide for the needs of these children. That’s why over the next month we want to provide hundreds of winter packs (hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets) for families in South Africa as they enter into the freezing cold months of May-September. Help us complete this project by giving a donation of $25 which will help cover the costs to purchase, assemble, and distribute each winter pack. Together we can make a difference!
650 school packs distributed in South Africa and Lesotho.
24 high school students receive sponsorship to provide help with tuition, school uniform, and books for the entire year.
Thembalethu Bible study New Bible study begins in Thembalethu, South Africa.
Thembalethu Bible study grows to 35 children.
Four teenagers from George and Jan and Nicole Seegmuller from Up With Down’s accompany me to Lesotho for distribution of 125 Winter Packs (blanket, scarf, hat, and gloves).
Plans for Training Program take shape and arrangements made for 6 from Lesotho for training the end of June.
Packing and distribution of 125 Winter Packs for children in the George area.
First training session with 4 Lesotho students in George.
Lesotho ministry grows to 125 children who attend weekly Bible study and have their physical, educational, and spiritual needs met by Anchor Your Life.
We go under contract to purchase a home in George to house the Training Center.
$222,000 is donated by friends of Anchor Your Life in 5 weeks to purchase the property in George for the Training Center.
A team from Loving Covers visits George, South Africa and Lesotho. 275 Christmas packs (soap, shampoo, tooth brush, tooth paste, vaseline, and face cloth) assembled by Up With Down’s and distributed by Anchor Your Life, Up With Down’s, and Loving Covers.
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (NIV) I Jn 3:17-18
A part of the Christmas celebration in America is gift giving. Throughout the years I have given gifts to each of my nieces and nephews. All of them now have graduated from college and have great jobs. For years I have felt like the central message of the Christmas story, God giving us His Son, has been greatly diminished as I hunt for gift ideas.
My gift giving changed a few years ago. Instead of giving gifts that my nieces and nephews don’t really need, I’m having them choose what gifts they want to give the children in Africa. The money I would normally use to buy gifts will be used to help needy kids in South Africa and Lesotho in honor of my nieces and nephews. They are choosing from the following:
- School Shoes: $20
- School Jumper: $30
- School Pant: $20
- Winter Pack: $25
- School Pack: $7
- Christmas Pack: $20
When I return to Lesotho, we will purchase the items and distribute them directly to those who are the neediest. Would you prayerfully consider adding a gift this year for a child in South Africa or Lesotho?
Our Lesotho friends are usually on the receiving end in Lesotho. Today they were on the giving side as they joyfully handed out winter packs to kids from “God Cares”. Not even crutches and a cast stopped KeKe!!!
The colorful backpacks were filled with a blanket, hat (knit by friends in the USA), gloves, and a scarf. Much needed warm items to help the kids weather through a very chilly winter in South Africa. Thanks Up with Down’s, Sotheby’s, and friends of Anchor Your Life for making all this happen!!!
Help us help more kids in South Africa and Lesotho