Something strange happened this week. Before I could control myself, I threw my hands up in the air, and shouted “Yes!!” all because of a few drops of rain. Having spent most of my life in a rain-swept climate, I was both surprised and slightly embarrassed with myself, but the rain was a welcome respite from the unrelenting triple-digit dry heat.
And yet, to escape the heat, all I have to do is flick a switch, select my desired temperature, and pour myself a glass of iced water. But what about the thousands of people in our own county who tonight have no shelter, water, or way to escape the heat? It is heartbreaking to learn that half of the homeless people on our streets are women and small children, and that only a few years back, 51 people in the Phoenix area died from prolonged heat exposure. And all this happened on our door step. But what can we do? We are but one congregation – how are we meant to tackle such an immense issue?
Well, happily the answer is that we are! We are devoting our money, our time, and our prayers to the work being carried out by numerous charitable organizations such as Neighborhood Ministries and the Camelback High School Food Pantry as well as others. These ministries seek to break the cycle of poverty and meet basic needs for many in our city.
But do we stop there? We know that we can’t because as long as there is one child or adult sleeping in a drainage ditch or dying (literally) of thirst, our work is not yet done. For as Christ taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31
As followers of Christ, we are commanded to love and care for the poor, not only in material form, but also through the Spirit, acting as spiritual guides. Christ taught, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4 Through the Spirit, the Church is called to satisfy the physical and spiritual hunger of the poor.
Let us respond to God’s call! Let His light shine in our city as we seek to cheerfully offer our time, money, and prayers to those in need. For our prayers and gifts to the poor are our grateful, self-sacrificial, offerings to the Lord.
To learn more about how you can be involved, please email me.
Blessings in Christ,
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. – Matthew 9:37
Written by Julian Gibb - Website
Born and raised in a small town in the south of England, Julian graduated with a Business degree going on to complete a diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies at Oxford. He received a Master of Divinity in Vancouver, Canada. While in Oxford, Julian met (and fell in love with) Duffy, his American wife. They have two beautiful daughters. Julian began serving at Camelback Bible Church in June of 2014 as Associate Pastor.