Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not A Golden Season for All : Our Help Is Needed Even More!

"Here comes summer."

"I can't wait for school to get out for freedom from teachers and homework."

"It's vacation time."

"Time to swim, snorkel, scuba dive, camp and have a blast."

Summer. As I write this, I'm sure that many of you who are parents of young children have them enrolled in summer camp programs, maybe with financial help. Maybe, as a Christian, you are fortunate enough to enroll your child in a Christ-centered camp where your child gets to experience the love and truth of Jesus. Of course, many Christian congregations host Vacation Bible School programs that normally last no more than a week in duration but that we hope and pray is lasting in its impact on the children and families we serve. Many of you who have resources or financial help, go on fun vacations, whether short-term or maybe longer-term.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying family or individual vacations. It's okay to go out of town to visit relatives or loved ones who don't live close to you. If you are able to take advantage of vacations or programs, these are ways to draw your family closer to each other and to God. Nothing wrong with that.

But not everyone looks forward to summer.

Who may not find summer a blessing? Many low-income children, during the school year, get most of their nutrition from free or reduced lunch programs. They depend on those programs to meet many of their nutritional needs. But when school lets out, these sources of support dry up. These children may face more hunger because they are at home. Unless they are fortunate enough to get assistance to use programs, including camping programs, they suffer. To make matters worse, donations to food pantries and to nonprofit organizations, including Feeding America, are known to decline during the summer months as $$$ are committed to summer activities and vacations. These nonprofits, both secular and Christian, affect people who least can afford to lose support--the poor, the marginalized, the hungry, and the oppressed. Contributions to our local churches also are known to drop during the summer months, with similar results for those in need that we serve. Also, funds to further the message of Christ also decline, with the result that the cause of Christ is affected by decreased giving. Is this not so?

If you can, go ahead and enjoy your vacations and summer activities. But don't forget to keep up your giving to those in need. We can do this!

Consider helping hungry children in the US by supporting Feeding America.

Consider helping needy children worldwide, in Jesus' Name.

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