God's Extended Arm of Mercy
by Leon Mazin, Shavei Tzion Messianic Center, Tents of Mercy Network
The storefront on Yaffo Street in downtown Haifa looks like any regular take-out restaurant in the neighborhood. People drop in for their daily hot meals. Some bring their own plastic containers, and some receive their meals pre-packaged. The idea of Shavei Tzion's soup kitchen is to allow financially challenged residents to receive their help in a discreet manner that respects their privacy.
The goal of the food distribution is to show unconditional mercy, and it is not done in order to gain more members for our congregation. Through referrals from Haifa social services, the kitchen receives people from all faiths and backgrounds, with no strings attached. Humanitarian aid that is prompted by faith is a product of God's spirit. We who have experienced mercy are drawn to show it to others.
It is in God's heart to allow needy people to trust in His providence, and to feel that someone truly cares. We, as believers in Yeshua, can ease their burden somewhat by providing hot meals. This aid allows soup kitchen clients to experience God's providence in a personal way. If He cares that the birds of the air receive their daily portion of nutrition, how much more does He care for the needs of men - His unique creation. We pray that as the soup kitchen clients receive our humble offerings of food, they would tangibly experience God's goodness and mercy, and that the identity of their true Provider will be revealed to them.
God, help us as your servants to be hidden behind your extended arm of mercy. God, let our left hand not know what our right hand is doing, so that you alone will be glorified (Matthew 6:3).
We are living in very uncertain times. Many people are burdened by daily worries and are fearful about their future. This is the time to actively demonstrate God's mercy. Only He has all the answers. Only He can protect us from evil. Please pray for our soup kitchen ministry to be an effective extended arm of God's compassionate love to the needy people around us.
"I greatly enjoy the healthy food your kitchen serves. I hope it will never stop! I wish health and happiness to all its supporters from all my heart!" Yashar
"I have diabetes. Your kitchen has been very helpful in providing me with meals suitable for my diet. Many thanks to your organization." Vladimir
"I thank you for your help, especially to the elderly. Because of it, we do not need to spend hours standing in front of the kitchen stove each day. I am very pleased with this service." Aleksander
During Passover this year, Tents of Mercy's Humanitarian Aid Center in Kiryat Yam will again celebrate God's redemption and provision by distributing 700 packages to needy families referred to us by the local municipality. We are planning to involve volunteers from a local public school and representatives from the municipality. This is a sign of favor, partnership and community spirit. Your prayers are most welcome, as well as designated donations as you may feel led.
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