All this week I will be in Guatemala serving on a Mission Team for Caroline's Promise, an adoption and orphan care organization. My friend, Lisa Holbrook, is the Director of Caroline's Promise and she recently told me that she often has a hard time recruiting men for these teams. Since many of these trips involve construction projects, there is a real need for guys…after all, they’re the ones with the upper body strength!
She asked one of her male friends why he has never gone on one of her trips. He said that he really struggled with the thought of going, because he could not “fix” the problems he was certain to encounter at these children’s homes. In other words, he might be able to go and help with construction or painting or other odd jobs, but when he left, these children would still be orphans living in poverty.
I get that. I think that we all, men in particular, feel the need to finish what we start. It is tough to visit orphans, look into their eyes and see Jesus, and then leave them knowing that their situation has not really changed, knowing that you haven’t fixed their problems. But, that’s our own logic, not God’s.
Think about the story of the Good Samaritan. Imagine if the Samaritan saw the guy who had been beaten up on the side of the road and thought to himself, “Yeeesh…he’s in really bad shape. There’s nothing I can do for that guy, so I’m just gonna keep on walking." Fortunately, that is not how the story ends. The Good Samaritan earned a place in God's Holy Bible because he saw someone who was hurting and he decided to do something, even though he could not provide a permanent solution to this man's problem.
God tells us that pure and undefiled religion is to "look after orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27). In Deuteronomy 15:11, He tells us that there will always be poor people in the land. God tells us to serve them and give to them, but He never commands us to solve their problems…or, anyone’s for that matter. However, it is often in the midst of those situations that we cannot “fix” that our service is needed the most.