One of the most common questions that I ask God is to give me a heart like His. As a Christian, we seek to see and treat people the way that God sees and treats us. If you are like me, sometimes I forget that God gives us a perfect example of how to treat others. He does this by sending His son, Jesus, to be the example of these things.
In the Gospels, we can see all that Jesus did and the things that he stood for while He was on Earth. In Matthew 25, a very famous verse from the Bible exists. It is verse 40 and it says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,'” (Matt. 25:40 NIV).
Before this verse, Jesus discusses what those who are sitting on the right side of the King did. He says in verse 35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,” (Matt. 25:35-36 NIV). Those who are sitting on the right side of the King who did these things will question the King, asking, “When did we do these things?” And that’s when the King will reply with that famous verse 40.
So why is this verse important? Who are the “least of these” as we often hear it said? And what does this have to do with orphans?
The definition for the Greek word, “elachistos,” that represents the “least of these,” is the least in size, amount, importance, authority or estimation of men. To understand who this group of people in African society is, Grace (one of our partners in Kenya), defines the “least of these” in her context:
“These people are those who hardly have homes to live in. They live on the streets and depend entirely on the generosity of strangers to help them. They live in dark corners of the town for fear of eviction by police.”
It is sad to acknowledge that there are people who live in these conditions and especially children who live in these conditions, but it is a reality to many in the context that Shepherd’s Heart works with. Understanding that this is a problem is only the first part of fulfilling the call that Jesus gives us. The second part is fulfilling the role that Jesus addresses to those who sit on his right. Those that clothe, feed and love “the least of these,” are fulfilling the call that Jesus gives to his followers. In our case, the orphans that are under the care of Shepherd’s Heart fall into this category.
Understanding God’s heart for “the least of these” and His heart for orphans fuels what we do at Shepherd’s Heart. We seek to support those who need clothing, food, love and empowerment. In order to fulfill the call that God has placed in the lives of those involved with Shepherd’s Heart, partnerships are vital.
If you would like to partner with Shepherd’s Heart to sponsor and love one of the children under our care, please follow the link below: