Many villages across Africa practice community caring. They say they base the custom on the biblical truth that all people are created in God’s image. Their custom has reduced orphans left by the deaths of HIV-infected parents. Clusters of volunteers take health care messages to remote villages. Now this same idea is being tested in our country. The objective is to seek out families who need medical help but do not, or cannot, seek it on their own. One African leader said, “It is the responsibility of the whole village to care for life, especially the very young and old. It is our responsibility to help them toward the restoration of wholeness.” Caring for others was on Jesus’ mind when He once spoke at a banquet. We read in Luke 14 that Jesus said to a banquet host, “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” Jesus reminds us that while it is proper to care for our immediate family, we should not forget the less fortunate. We should teach our children the importance of sharing and helping others.
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