‘As you did it to one of the least of these’
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Loveson. (Photo by Gilbert Lindor)
skeletal baby revealed from under a begging mother’s clothing on a
street corner in Nairobi, Kenya. A beleaguered father, his
polio-stricken daughter sitting on his lap, slumping into despair in
Malasi, Haiti after learning there was nothing we could do to help.
sea of orphan children sleeping alongside and on top of each other in
Kasese, Uganda. Dirty-faced children, who are forced to work more than
half of every day of every week in a brick factory in Faisalabad,
Pakistan, with hopelessness in their eyes. Widows and widowers broken by
life, unable to even make eye contact, in Msema, Malawi.
These are staggering real-life images in my mental photo album.
are moments I witnessed with my own eyes and perhaps captured through
the lens of my camera. Others are moments sent to me in a photograph,
like the one at the top of this page.
Gilbert Lindor emailed me
the photo above of a 10-year-old boy named Loveson. Gilbert himself
first came to me via an emailed photo. It was a photograph so hideous I
could not even look at it; a photograph of a gangrene leg. Gilbert broke
his leg in the mountains of Haiti in 2007 and God used Climbing For
Christ to rescue him.
The next photos I would see of Gilbert were
of him recovering from an amputation that saved his life. Only then did
I meet him in person and begin to watch him grow in the Lord.
Gilbert in August 2007.
Now Gilbert serves those in need; those needing Jesus and those needing the love of Christ.
Jesus instructed us in the Gospel of Matthew: “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40,
ESV, boldface emphasis mine). Jesus spoke about feeding the hungry,
giving drink to the thirsty, inviting in the stranger, clothing those
who are naked, taking care of the sick, and visiting those who are in
prison. He told us – and He continues to tell us – that we will find Him
among the least of these.
We see the least of these wherever God
sends us. In the case of Climbing For Christ, that is in mountainous
areas where others are not going – in remote and often impoverished
villages. We see the physical and the spiritual needs, and through the
power and provision of God we attempt to address those needs.
week Gilbert emailed these words to me along with that photograph:
“Peace of God is with you. I’m going to send you a picture of a young
man who is 10 years old and paralyzed. His name is Loveson. He cannot do
anything for himself. We pray for him, and his mother said that God has
promised that he will walk.”
We know God will keep His promise.
We know that even if Loveson does not walk here, he will walk one day
alongside our awesome God. In the meantime, He is showing Loveson and
the family of this child that He is walking with them now by sending
Gilbert and Climbing For Christ to show His love.
We sent a
little help after Gilbert told how Loveson’s mother accepted a plate of
food and said she would feed her family of six with it.
do a lot with a little. One need only look at what He has accomplished
through His little ministry of Climbing For Christ these past 13 years.
We like to call ourselves a loaves-and-fish ministry because He feeds
thousands (spiritually and physically) even as we declare, as the
disciples did in Matthew 14, “But we only have…”
of us live in a culture that focuses on fear and warns that you need to
save more, you need insurance, you need protection, you need … well,
everything but God. Put your 401K, your retirement, your vacation,
yourself before everything and everyone else. With a me-first vision, we
often overlook the least and the lost.
What if we behaved like the Acts 2 church and looked after each other? What if we recognized that we are blessed to be a blessing?
you turn the pages on that photo album in your head, revisiting images
that left an indelible mark on your heart, ask yourself as I have: “What
did I do, what AM I DOING for the least of these?” Then join us in
prayer as we seek to show the world that the love of Christ is real and
active. His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV)