Thanks – Giving back…

I have a military friend who came to know the Lord as a result of strangers asking him into their house for dinner on Christmas eve.  At the time he was not a U. S. citizen but was in this country to receive flight training.  The Christian couple had taken it upon themselves to walk through the barracks looking for young singles who might be alone on a holiday when no one deserved to be alone.  My friend did not even know the meaning of Christmas at the time, but the compassion of that couple opened a door for him into eternity.

Thanksgiving is another one of those holidays when some young people (and some elderly) are forced to be alone through circumstances beyond their control.  International college students, young unmarried sailors, merchant seamen, etc.  How can you and your family reach out to the lonely?  You can contact campus ministries such as InterVarsity and CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ).  Your local or church Meals on Wheels Coordinator will usually know of seniors who are lonely and in need of even brief companionship, but especially on a holiday.  Talk with your church office and deacons team members.  You can reach out to young sailors and soldiers through the USO and local Base Chaplains offices.  Or, contact your local base Command Master Chief (Navy) or Sergeant Major (Army & Air Force).  Squadron ombudsmen, senior enlisted and executive officers can connect you to military representatives with lists of families or individuals in need.  Sea port ministries (look on Google) can tell you of merchant seaman alone in your city.  Or, you can be bold and walk through a game room or barracks and ask people you meet if they know of anyone who might enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with your family. It could well be the person you speak to.  Pray beforehand and let the Holy Spirit lead you.  All of life is a struggle between fear and love.  Let love win.

As Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40).   We are blessed in order that we might bless others.

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