In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a story about some sheep and some goats.
The “sheep” are people who feed the hungry, provide water for the thirsty, attend to the sick, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, and look after those in prison.
The “goats” are people who did not do any of those things for those Jesus calls “the least of these.”
There are plenty of times when I don’t feel like doing those things. I feel like being a goat. Heck, I am a goat more often than I care to admit.
But I want to be a sheep. For two reasons:
- At the end of his little comparison, the goats are sent off to eternal punishment and the sheep get eternal life. Faced with the option, I prefer the latter.
- It’s just a better way to live. Helping others and meeting needs and helping to usher in God’s Kingdom is something I want to spend my life doing.
The problem for most of us is the issues so complex and the need so large that we are paralyzed by it all. What are we supposed to do that will even put a dent in this?
I have one, quick, no-brainer, anyone can do it suggestion.
Between now and the end of this year, we’re looking for 50 people to sign up to give $25/month to The 25 Group, a non-profit my wife and I started in 2014.
You may be wondering what difference $25/month can make. To tell you, here are three quick stories:
From January, 2014 to June, 2015 $25/month fed about 70 kids a day a hot meal six days each week in the Dominican Republic village of Los Perez. Though our non-profit had just started, people banded together behind the idea that it is our joy to make “less least of these” and each gave $25/month. That allowed us to send $1600/month to GO Ministries to fund this nutrition center. In addition, we gave a one-time gift of $7000 which purchased over 300,000 vitamins that GO Ministries used in all 11 of their nutrition centers in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
What does $25/month do? It feeds the hungry. It makes less least of these.
In December of 2014, after a successful first year as an organization, we had about $1000 extra dollars. Over coffee in Saint Louis, I talked with a visionary named Jake Austin about his plans to turn a box truck into a mobile shower unit for the homeless. I gave him $500, which I think was used as a deposit on the truck. He was just getting started.
In January/February of 2016, we provided Shower to the People with another gift that allowed them to purchase soap making equipment. This equipment would not only produce soap for use in the truck, but also give an employment opportunity to the people they serve.
What does $25/month do? It helps give homeless people a place to take a shower and provides income-earning opportunities to folks who lack them. It makes less least of these.
Oh, and by the way, Shower to the People is blowing up, having gone viral in recent months as people catch on to this incredible idea.
In our nearly three year history, the largest single gift we have ever been honored to give was $35,000, which covered the rent for the entire year of 2016 for Rapha House. A safe house in Haiti for young girls who have been trafficked, they are offering hope, healing, education, and a home to girls from horrific backgrounds. It is a beautiful, difficult ministry. We were so proud to come alongside and help with this expense so they could do what they do best — help people.
What does $25/month do? It rescues and heals. It makes less least of these.
Would you join us by signing up to give $25/month? As you can see, when we all give a little, we can all give a lot.
Don’t be a goat. Be a sheep.
Thanks for giving.