From the Director
"Love thy neighbor as thyself". Mark 13:31
Current event have triggered a lot of discussion about when a christian organization like Zestos should or shouldn't be willing to reach out. Some are fearful that extending a helping hand may hurt someone's pride or cause them to become dependent. Others think the recipients should be evaluated first to see if they are in some way, by some standard, qualify and are deserving of assistance. Still others remain convinced that major portions of the population don't belong here and therefore are undeserving of help under any circumstance.
So much to think about... When the opportunity to "Love our neighbor" comes along. We may not have time for it because we're just too busy figuring out which conflicting strategy applies to the situation. Much like the priest and the Levite in the story of Good Samaritan. Will we simply pass by on the other side of the road? This is one of the ways that inaction become the norm and we are left with heavy hearts knowing that we have failed to accept and embrace the call.
Loving our neighbor is not just something to do when there is a tornado or a flood or refugees crossing the border. This is a significant part of who we are and an important part of the fullness and impact of our Christian way of life. The peculiar thing is that we care and put others first. This is what we do! If we can make someones life better and help them find their way, what more meaningful thing can we do? Clearly if we are too busy for this then we are too busy.
The Masters words cut through the confusion and teach us everything we need to know in the most simple and direct way; " Love thy neighbor as thyself." (Please note; There is no mention of pride or dependence, no qualifying, judging or evaluation and no exception due to immigration status). This commandment taken seriously on an individual basis, guides each of us into a new fullness that changes our approach to the world and our worlds approach to us. This is the guiding force in much of the Zestos decision making process on a day to day basis. Our goal is to share an outpouring of tenderhearted mercy, kindness and good news with everyone that comes our way. No one is exempt. When Jesus said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden," He was talking about us. As a part of the body of Christ, we find ourselves on both sides of the equation; each of us needs to care for others and each of us needs to care for us.
I work with people in our community that are living in fear, hiding in the shadows, struggling to raise their children right here in the immigrant nation that welcomed our ancestors. Meanwhile, the fate of many young children from Central America remains in the balance at our border. Clearly, "The body of Christ," (namely you and I) have much work to do in the area of loving our neighbor. This is our opportunity to do the right thing and shine in the name or Jesus. We can help by printing a memory of love and compassion in the hearts and minds of these children and families that will last a lifetime. Pray for an awakening, a passion and an urgency that keeps us out of our recliners.