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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.   -Philippians 2:3-4

These words from Paul to the church in Philippi, though always to be considered in our daily living, never needed pondering more than in our current situation. We are traveling in uncharted territory in our country, and in the world! Facing a global pandemic is not something I ever thought I would face in my lifetime, but here we are. The question for me is, how are we going to respond as Christian servants to all those in need around us?

We have the chance right now to respond to the needs of others, letting our actions proclaim Jesus’ love for all people in the midst of challenge. This will also give us the chance then to share the Gospel through conversation with those whom we are helping. What an awesome opportunity we’ve been given!

A young boy was said to have written to Mother Teresa, asking her how he could make a difference in the world. Her response was, “Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.”

With this in mind, our April Mission of the Month Challenge is for you to “Find your own Calcutta”. Look to the interests of others this month… and beyond.

Some time ago, my wife asked an elderly woman if she needed help getting her groceries from the supermarket to her car. She gratefully accepted. That was fourteen years ago, and since that first chance meeting, they have gotten together on most Saturdays year around. The woman has macular degeneration, so Robin helps write out greeting cards to the woman’s many friends and family members, and performs other tasks as well. Those tasks are appreciated, but the most important thing she does is spend time in conversation, speaking and listening, reminiscing and laughing, sharing some joy and love with this woman, who is now almost 102!

Perhaps there is someone in your neighborhood, someone in your family, or a friend, who needs help with simple tasks around their home, someone to go grocery shopping for them, or take them to church (once social distancing is over with), or simply spend time in conversation.  Seize the day and do it! You have your Calcutta! Serve the Lord by serving another. Don’t let an opportunity slip away.

Regarding Mission of the Month offerings, any funds collected during April will be put into First Immanuel’s Help A Friend fund, which will then be used to aid those among us who may experience small financial needs as a result of health concerns, loss of employment, or other setbacks that can make daily living a heavy burden to bear alone.

God bless you as you look to the interests of others in Jesus’ name.   

Karl Roeske, Director of Missions and Outreach