A week ago I got an e-mail from a dear African friend: “Dear Ken, my wife is trying to have a baby and it will not come. She is bleeding badly and in much pain. She is rapidly worsening. The hospital says she needs a C-section, but demands $1,500 before they will treat her. I have $600 but no more. Part has been given by friends. Dr. Ken, will you please send me $900? I don’t want to be a widower or my two children to have no mother! Please help us!”
I know his statements are accurate. I’ve had associations for several years. I know that she had a C-section with a previous pregnancy. I know that in much of the world no treatment is given unless it can be paid for ahead of time.
Peace and justice. My world—and yours, too—is more than full of needs. How do I sort this out? In traveling to needy areas the requests are also innumerable. How should I have responded to my African friend?
I think of Jesus teaching: “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40, NIV).
I’d like to ask you, how should I have responded to my friend? And how do you sort out the plethora of needs that you face? How do you determine to which to give help? How do you help people to see Jesus and not you?
Contributed by Ken Magee, Klamath Falls