Thursday, December 01, 2011

Stricken Joplin Still Gives

Here's a nice story to kick off December and the Christmas season.

As you can see from the memory-jogging photo, the city of Joplin, Missouri, has had a rough year and that's putting it mildly. A huge section of the city got buzzed to the ground by a killer tornado last spring. But that's not stopping the people of Joplin from showing their generous side.

According to this Christian Post article, a total of 12,000 shoeboxes for needy children have been given out of a city where many were already made homeless and possessionless after a terrible natural disaster. Wonderful.

Just what we need to see while much of the media is focused on the nasty side of humanity.

As an aside, I would like to take this opportunity to throw a plug in for the ministries of Slavic Gospel Association. If you check out their website, they're gearing up to help churches in Russia and the former Soviet nations reach out to needy children through SGA-sponsored Immanuel's Child and Orphans Reborn ministries. The former is a ministry geared to link North American churches with evangelical churches in Russia to reach needy children at Christmas with the Gospel. The latter — Orphans Reborn — is an SGA-sponsored ministry to orphan children year-round, but also includes a special outreach at Christmas.

You don't hear much about it in the news these days, but poverty remains horrendous in the former Soviet nations, even though some are doing well in the major cities. The rural villages are where life is the hardest, and the churches there have scarce resources.

Pray for these ministries, and indeed all evangelistic and humanitarian ministries in the days ahead. So many need the life-changing Gospel, as well as a helping hand.

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