It never occurred to me how much the world needed help; but rather my own desires and wants were clear every single moment of my life. I knew that there were any people in need, who were not as well of as I, but I never regarded it as something that would be of any influence in my life. It wasn’t until the summer of 2008 when I went on a short-term mission trip to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, when my eyes were open and I really knew what it meant to be in need of help. I’m not only referring to physical help, but also emotional and spiritual help. What struck me the most was the fact that the absence of God has been consistent for generations. It is just like poverty; a cycle that continues through generations within families. Because a child’s parents were not educated, they did not have money to send their child to school, which then results in the child following in the same footsteps as the parents. When this child becomes an adult and has children of his own, they too will be uneducated because their parents were uneducated and did not have the money to send them to school. And thus the core of the issue of poverty. It is the same aspect as being poor in the presence of God. Generation after generation, the people of Taiwan have not been educated nor told of who God is. Years pass and yet they continue to not know the truth. From the grandparents, to the parents, to the children, they continue to follow the pattern of darkness.
This I believe, is what help truly is. Help in many cases means to give assistance in ways which one could not do for oneself. In this case, it was God calling my to “help” his people. To love them as Christ loves us. In 1 John 3:16 it reads: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down out lived for our brothers.” So what is this laying of our lives you ask? One word: love. Just as Christ laid down His life for us, He did it in love because He loved us so much. All he was calling me to do was exactly what he had done for me, but much simpler. I didn’t have to get beat up by people I did know, sent to hell for a few days, nor did I have to die for anyone; but I had to let go of my pride and serve others. I had to love those around me and see how they were in the valley of the shadow of death. They were dying, starving, hungry for something greater that could save them. And that was when I knew what the true meaning of help was: love. I believe that there is only so much you can do for someone, but to simply love them is the strongest and most vocal expression of help.
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