Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

Dear Friends,

When I think of the flood disaster in Pakistan, I feel overwhelmed. The latest news says that 1.2 million homes have been destroyed and 800,000 people are stranded by broken bridges etc.. The UN has calculated that 17 million people have been seriously affected by the floods.

This is an absolutely enormous tragedy by any standards and I can easily be tempted to say – “so what? –  I can’t do anything to help”. I even hear cynical voices say that “these people shouldn’t live in areas that are liable to flooding”, or that “the Pakistani government should have better contingency plans, we’ve got enough problems here, the government should do more” or that “the UN should sort it out”.

Messages like these have the effect of vaccinating my heart against generosity. The selfish part of my nature says that I can’t give to yet another cause. This is what the charities call ‘donor fatigue’, and when it sets in the destitute suffer.

After he killed his brother Abel, God asked Cain what had happened. In Genesis 4:9 Cain replied with an attempt to evade responsibility for what took place, asking if he were his ‘brother’s keeper.’  I recognise that voice. When I hear of so much suffering, Cain’s voice rings in my head, ‘I can’t be responsible for other people.’ And then the guilt rises in my mind until the banks burst and I also feel overwhelmed!
But thank God there is a way out. Christ died so that I might live, and help others live more abundantly. He does not want us to be burdened by guilt and a sense of being overwhelmed. When I am stuck like this, His love gives me the power to act, to choose and in this case, to make a small donation that will make a big difference to the lives of the people in Pakistan whom I will never know.

For me, making a gift to ADRA could be seen as way of quieting an overwhelmed conscience, but in truth, it has become a sign of the grace of God working in my life. My small contribution is just one way that I can say thank you to a God who has given me so many blessings, and whose heart is aching for the people of Pakistan.

Why not visit and see the difference you can make? A widow’s mite is a fortune in the treasury of God.

Pastor Bernie