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Dorcas - Ministry for the Poor

Health Outreach ideas

Disadvantaged, Needy,
less fortunate ministry.

Why Dorcas? What is that? Actually it's who is that. Dorcas was a New Testament woman who worked for the poor.

"At Joppa, which was near Lydda, there lived a woman named Dorcas, whose good deeds had made her greatly beloved. She was a worthy disciple of Jesus, and her life was filled with acts of kindness. She knew who needed comfortable clothing and who needed sympathy, and she freely ministered to the poor and the sorrowful. Her skillful fingers were more active than her tongue." {AA 131.2}

"What saith the Lord in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah? The whole chapter is of the highest importance. I have been instructed to refer our people to the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Read this chapter carefully and understand the kind of ministry that will bring life into the churches. The work of the gospel is to be carried by means of our liberality as well as by our labors. When you meet suffering souls who need help, give it to them. When you find those who are hungry, feed them. In doing this you will be working in lines of Christ's ministry. The Master's holy work was a benevolent work. Let our people everywhere be encouraged to have a part in it." {WM 29}

To learn more about ministering to the poor and needy read the book "Welfare Ministry" There is even a study guide for this book for digging deeper here. While we are to reach those who are afflicted, widowed, and destitute, we can just through money at every needy person we meet because we can hurt as much as we help. Please read the book above and visit the church website Adventist Community Services for more on this subject.

WE ARE responsible to share the resources (MONEY of course, but also time, property, materials, talents, etc.) we have no matter how many or how little we have. The widow's mite can go a LONG way!!! BUT how much more should those with means use their gifts from GOD for helping others? They are accountable. How much do you really need to spend on shoes every year? One fancy pair of shoes can provide a water pump for an entire community. HONESTLY some avoid thinking about the poor because it can be overwhelming how many there are, but if EACH one of us would give what we can there would be NO destitute poor left (not that all would be rich, but all would have food and shelter).

"There are many who complain of God because the world is so full of want and suffering, but God never meant that this misery should exist. He never meant that one man should have an abundance. God has made men His stewards, and He is not to be charged with the sufferings, the misery, the nakedness, and the want of humanity. The Lord has made ample provision for all. He has given to thousands of men large supplies with which to alleviate the want of their fellows; but those whom God has made stewards have not stood the test, for they have failed to relieve the suffering and the needy." {WM 16.1}

Some practical ideas on helping and working with the poor to get you started from easy to more involved, from a few hours a week to little effort/time on your part:

Volunteer for a soup kitchen or donate food

Start or get involved in a Dorcas Society at your church (or a soup kitchen, Thanksgiving/Christmas baskets, etc.) - see Dorcas Society

Volunteer for a thrift store that caters to the poor (some stores give out vouchers)

Volunteer for Maranatha or support their outreach projects.

Support ADRA - with monthly donations and/or use and promote their gift catalogue program - gifts are meaningful to the giver, recipient, and help the poor and needed. Avoid materialism during those special holidays the rich corporations are promoting! Canadian Catalog

Share ADRA via the internet with ecards, banners, etc.

Hold a fundraiser for ADRA (ADRA Canada)

Support the Operation Christmas Child - shoeboxes. (in Canada)

Join a boys and girls club, or at risk youth club, as a support mentor.

Check with your local newspaper, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Info, or Government service office -- your town may list the volunteer opportunities in your area.

Youth are getting neglected in more ways than just food or clothing. They are lacking emotional and spiritual support and structure - for ALL walks of life -- rich and poor. Youth Ministry has be left to the wayside in many churches. We have children's ministries, women's ministries, docus society, prophecy seminars, health evangelism, but youth are often left out. How can you help?.....>>>>