The Impact of Jesus on Caring for Those in Need

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The writer of the book of James echoed Jesus’ passion for the poor, saying, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).

Efforts to help the poor and needy of the world greatly intensified in the twentieth century. The advent of television and radio made it possible for Christian charitable organizations to reach many and recruit broad support for large causes.

One of the biggest of these modern-day charities remains World Vision. Originally founded in 1950, World Vision aims to increase awareness about hungry and poor people. Within a few years of their founding, they pioneered the system of individual sponsorship used to help the impoverished around the world.

World Vision now works in nearly one hundred countries providing child protection, disaster relief, economic development, education, food, refugee aid, health care, and agriculture.

Many Christian institutions desire to combat poverty. These include Food for the Hungry, Samaritan’s Purse, Feed My Starving Children, and many others. While they hope to relieve the suffering of the poor, they each look for creative ways to bring a broad range of services to those in these impoverished countries.

Because government bureaucracies move slowly to provide disaster relief, the church and parachurch organizations have designed quick response teams that bring relief after a natural disaster.

Christian agencies like Samaritan’s Purse provide rapid emergency assistance through the relationships they already have with churches in the area. By providing instant infrastructure and relief, Samaritan’s Purse helps local churches become the centers of help. Samaritan’s Purse provides emergency relief through meeting the people’s daily needs—giving them blankets, food, personal hygiene supplies, and cooking utensils. They build medical facilities and provide medicine and other essential supplies to people who have suffered through a natural disaster. They also provide emergency shelters for those who have lost their homes.

This blog post has been adapted from my book How Jesus Changed the World. You can learn more about it here


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