Sharing HOPE with children…

There are several places in the Scriptures where Jesus looked out upon crowds of people and He “had compassion on them.”  Matthew 9:35-38 tells the story where Jesus was traveling, teaching, preaching, and healing.  Right in the middle of several miraculous stories, Matthew pauses and noted this compassion for those who were helpless like a sheep without a shepherd.  Jesus then turned to his disciples and told them about a plentiful harvest with few workers and encouraged them to pray that God would send workers into his harvest field.  There are so many lessons in this wonderful passage about missions, serving God, and our need for the Shepherd Jesus Christ.  However, as I have considered this passage recently, I am most convicted by the “compassion” that Jesus had as He looked around.

I have searched the headlines of various newspapers as well as my social media feeds and I see LOTS of stories about people who are noticing those around them.  However, there seems to be more condemnation than compassion; more condescension than concern.  And then, even when we do feel and express compassion, it often stops short of actually entering into the actual harvest field. That’s why I get so excited when opportunities arise for us to look, to have compassion, and then to enter the harvest field.  This happens when WCCS sends groups to the Dominican Republic each summer.  It happens on our senior trips.  It happens when classes adopt local projects and ministries and act on what they see.  It even happens when individuals see someone hurting and pursue them compassionately.

Throughout the 2016-17 school year, Westminster Catawba Christian School has been partnering with Samaritan’s Feet in their pursuit to put new shoes on children who have none or for whom this would be a rare occurrence.   Just this year, we have counted our steps (lower school), held a shoe drive (middle school) and badminton tournament (high school), and hosted a spirit night (whole school) to raise awareness and funds for Samaritan’s Feet.  And, during the month of March, our Athletic Department is looking to continue raising funds to support this effort during our home games.  From the beginning, we have sought to look around, to have compassion on those who would be most blessed by the ministry of Samaritan’s Feet, and to be praying that God would send workers into the harvest.  God has answered those prayers by giving WCCS the opportunity to HOST a Samaritan’s Feet Shoe Distribution at the CARE CENTER, a ministry of the Westminster Presbyterian Church Deacons.

On Saturday morning, March 25th, we will provide shoes to 100 elementary, middle, and high school children in the Catawba Terrace Neighborhood.  WCCS has been asked to provide between 15 and 20 volunteers who will spend time with each shoe recipient by washing his or her feet, placing a new pair of athletic shoes and socks on them, and encouraging them.  What a great way for us to serve as workers in the harvest field – sharing hope with children in need!!!

For those interested in volunteering, please sign up using this Sign-Up Genius link:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D48AEAE22A4FE3-wccs. 

For ALL of us, my prayer is that we would do as Jesus did – look out, have compassion, and pray for workers to enter the fields of harvest, even going out into the fields ourselves when called!

Christmas question…

It is that time of year when we are all getting excited about Christmas.  However, I believe that we can get a little more excited about Christmas break or Christmas presents than about the greatest cause for celebration ever…  Christ Himself.

As the faculty and staff of Westminster Catawba Christian School gathered together this week, I shared a devotion with them in hopes of reminding all of us of the gospel – the “good news” – of Christ.  To do so, I put a Bible verse up on the screen that they all knew well – and I asked them what ONE word meant the most to them in the verse.  They gave me a few inquisitive looks, and then really began to dig into the question.  As I expected, the answers were many.  And, the explanations of their answers was a great encouragement to me and to the rest of the group.

So, I’d like to ask the same question of you.  Given the verse below, what ONE word means the most to you – and why???  Feel free to answer in the comment section of the blog or respond in the social media venue of your choice.  I look forward to seeing your answers – and to be encouraged in the Good News that the Christmas season brings.

john316