The Cry of the Poor
The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Blessed be the Lord Jesus.
I will bless the Lord Jesus at all times,
with praise ever in my mouth,
Let my soul glory in the Lord Jesus,
who will hear the cry of the poor.
Let the lowly hear and be glad:
the Lord Jesus listens to their pleas;
and to hearts broken, God is near,
who will hear the cry of the poor.
Every spirit crushed, God will save;
will be ransom for their lives;
will be safe shelter for their fears,
and will hear the cry of the poor.
We proclaim Your greatness, O God,
Your praise ever in our mouth;
every face brightened in Your light,
for You hear the cry of the poor.
1) God is full of compassion for people.
Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
2) Jesus had compassion for lost people.
Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
3) Jesus had compassion for sick people.
Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
4) Jesus had compassion for hungry people.
Matthew 15:32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
5) Jesus had compassion for people who had lost loved ones.
Luke 7:13-14 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise."
6) Do you have compassion for people in need?
Luke 10:29-37 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
7) Are you a person of compassion? Are you a Christian?
1 Peter 3:8-12 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be £courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."
Child of the Poor
Who is this who lives with the lowly,
sharing their sorrows, knowing their hunger?
This is Christ,
revealed to the world in the eyes of a child,
a child of the poor.
Helpless and hungry, lowly, afraid,
wrapped in the chill of midwinter;
comes now among us,
born into poverty's embrace,
new life for the world.
Who is the stranger here in our midst,
looking for shelter among us?
Who is the outcast?
Who do we see amid the poor,
the children of God?
Bring all the thirsty, all who seek peace;
bring those with nothing to offer.
Strengthen the feeble,
say to the frightened heart:
"Fear not: here is your God!"
Orphanage transforms lives of children in Sierra Leone
By RYAN BRINKS
Unlike a thousand other parentless kids huddled on steps and in corners across the streets of a West African city battered by a decade-long civil war, four children found hope and help in a place far from Marshalltown but very near the hearts of several Marshalltown families.
Three Marshalltown men witnessed the transformation of one of those children, Adama, during their recent three-week trip to an orphanage in Sierra Leone.
The 6-year-old girl, marked by scars under her eyes, scars on her back and tears falling down her cheeks without a sound, was brought to the orphanage by a police officer, according to Mark Boland and Roger Hatch, who went on the trip together with Jeff Peak.
"She was just in bad shape," Hatch said. "She doesn't know what happened to her parents, and the family that was raising her was using her as a slave and beating her. The police found out about it and took her to us."
Since 2002 when Hatch's heart for street children helped found Jonathan's House for Orphans with Pastor Peter Kainwo, 47 children have found a family, he said.
"Days later [Adama] had a big smile. Her whole demeanor changed in an environment where she was loved, fed and safe," Boland said.
That is their mission, "bringing hope to the hopeless," Hatch said.
In a predominantly Muslim culture, their love and caring is evident, if not out of the ordinary. On their recent trip, "a Muslim lady brought in three kids and told about how she found them eating out of the dust bin," Hatch recalled. "She said, 'We don't have any programs to help these kids, but you do.'"
Muslim families bring many of the 3,400 kids that attend a three-day December children's camp at the orphanage, he added, where the orphanage's staff share the message of hope in Jesus Christ.
Of the multitudes that watched one of seven showings of the Jesus film in their tribal language, Mende, Boland said about 1,200 made a commitment to believe and follow Jesus.
"Most people have never seen a movie before; they've never seen white people before," Hatch said of surrounding villages, some of which they had to walk to get to. "And a lot of them have never heard the gospel before."
The goal of this trip - Hatch's fourth, Peak's second and Boland's first - was to do some construction work on a dormitory, show the Jesus film, and "be open to God's leading in whatever needed to be done in the orphanage," Boland said.
Next trip all three will be taking kids home. Christian families in Marshalltown, New Providence and Vinton are in the process of adopting seven children from the orphanage.
The Hatches hope to adopt 12-year-old David and 9-year-old Theresa; the Bolands decided Dec. 10 to soon bring home Naomi, 6, and Ruth, 8; and the Peaks, who are unable to have children of their own, have opened their home to 5-year-old Abe in the year since Jeff first visited Sierra Leone.
"I'm not sure if it will go through, but we're sure going to try," Peak said.
Peak spent most of his trip tiling, plastering and painting an under-construction clinic that should be open in February. A nursery school for children up to third grade was just opened in September, and in January, the orphanage will begin work on a school.
The families in Marshalltown are trying to do as much as they can as quickly as they can, because their access to the orphanage in the future is uncertain.
After the 11-year civil war ended in 2002, the United Nations has assigned troops to the country for stability; until now. The UN pull-out may create political volatility, Hatch said.
"We're trying to do all we can now because we have free access right now," he said. "The more kids we can help now the better in the long run we'll be."
The orphanage provides education, public health work, church planting, foster care training and teaching them how to be healthy, how to grow crops and put in wells, Hatch said.
"It doesn't take any special talents. You don't have to be a builder or a nurse. You just have to take time loving the kids," he added.
Additional trips are planned for March and July as well as shipping a semi container of bedding, personal items, kids clothing and shoes in the next couple weeks.
One hundred percent of financial gifts go to Sierra Leone and are tax-deductible.
"It's just amazing how much you can do for so little," Hatch said.
The founders are dreaming of a multi-purpose dining hall/school/church, another home for the children, a basketball court and soccer field.
For more information about Jonathan's House, contact Hatch at 641-485-2829.
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