To me, it is encouraging to know that there are several organizations, both local and national, calling themselves "People Helping People." One is a denominational organization that coordinates relief efforts
all over the country. Another is a community food pantry program. Another organization by that name is dedicated to helping people conquer debt and financial mismanagement. It seems that whatever need an individual may have, there are people ready to help. In a day and age where everything is portrayed as dim and dismal, it is encouraging to see so many groups trying to help others.
The same phenomenon can be seen in response to natural disasters like the tornados in the southeast and, more recently, the midwest. My sister-in-law, Kristy Woodall, has made several trips to Joplin, Missouri, to help in the aftermath of the nation's single worst tornado in terms of fatalities. She joins thousands of people, including many members of the church, whose hearts go out to those in need and are moved to help. There is a chord in the heart of most people touched by the hardship and need of others that motivates this spirit of volunteerism.
It is that heartstring the Lord needs struck deep down in the hearts of His people with regard to the work of His church. Whether it be the benevolent, educational, or evangelistic works necessary for the church to reach the world, God needs us to have open hearts. It is incredible to watch what God's people will do when they first give themselves to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:1-5). And, what blessings follow those whose hearts are so inclined--he "will be prosperous" (Pr.
11:25), "will be sought after" (Pr. 19:6), and "will be blessed" (Pr. 22:9). As that is true concerning helping the needy, certainly it follows those who roll up their sleeves and get involved in the church's work. In nearly every congregation, terms like "teacher shortage," "need for personal workers," "help in following up," and more point out the need for God's people to stand alongside Nehemiah's neighbors and have "a mind to work" (Neh. 4:6).