There is a lot of physical, mental and spiritual pain in the world. I saw it very concretely during my first foreign mission trip. The whole spectrum of human suffering lay open before my eyes. People approached me and begged for help.
The distress I had read about now had a face, a voice and pleading eyes. It became reality to me. Suffering came close, painfully close.
I remember the difficult life situation of Ann. Her one-room sheet metal home had been swept away by heavy rains. It had been home for her, though other people had called it a hut in the slum.
To provide humanitarian aid, SRK has established a special humanitarian aid committee (HAC), which helps underprivileged people along with the mission work done in their communities. Financial aid has been given for children to go to school and for health care.
Ann also received help from this committee. The local members of HAC submitted an application on Ann’s behalf, because she simply did not have the capacity for it. They also brought her into hospital and paid for her care.
The HAC allowance helped Ann get a new home, so the six children she was caring for did not remain orphaned and homeless. Ann is grateful to God and the unknown people who donated money to the HAC project.
Now that I am preparing for a new mission trip, I think about what my distant friends have taught me. They have taught me gratitude. Things that have been self-evident to me now seem like gifts I should be grateful for.
The knowledge that I will face again those people in great need does not seem so painful as it first did. I know my grandparents lived at a time of great in famine in Finland. Many Finnish people died from diseases or starved to death, but people also helped each other. It is our turn to help now. It is good and valuable to meet the eyes of my fellow humans.
Assistance is given both to those who believe in the way that we do as Conservative Laestadian Christians and those who lack this faith. Trusting in God and with His help, we will do what we can to provide temporal assistance to those in need.
The work of the gospel is also spreading, as more and more people long for the word of grace and encouragement. It is time for us to work.
Text: Mauno Kurunlahti
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original finnish blog post here.
Raamatun mukaan jokainen Jumalan valtakunnan jäsen on avoin lähetyskirje omassa toimintaympäristössään (2. Kor. 3:2–3). Tämä asia voi olla kipupiste uskovaiselle ihmiselle, sillä henkilökohtaisesta uskosta puhumiselle on korkea kynnys nyky-yhteiskunnassa.