“避寒行动”之思考


◆ 赵崇令 长老


离开冰冷,触摸心灵

  
 多年来,市中心华人福音堂的门一直在冬季为无家可归的人打开。许多来自福音堂和其他教会的义工在各样工作上帮忙,例如煮饭、分派食物、摆设、打扫清理、欢迎来宾、传福音、守夜、预备早点等等。每一位义工都各尽其职。

    去年,我们一部份来自士嘉堡英语堂的弟兄姐妹参与了“避寒运动”。 大家预备了中式晚餐,也有西式的鸡汤、蛋糕和冰淇淋。青少年负责派发食物,成年人则坐下来跟来宾聊天。我们还玩游戏,送奖品给每一位参加者。大家一同体验了神的祝福,以及按照神的吩咐服侍穷人的喜悦。

怜悯穷人,扎根《圣经》

  《圣经》有多处教导我们关怀居住在我们之中的穷人。其中包括以下几段:

    申命记15:7说:“……你不可忍着心、攥着手,不帮补你穷乏的弟兄。”

    耶利米书22:16说:“他为困苦和穷乏人伸冤,那时就得了福乐。认识我不在乎此吗?这是耶和华说的。”

    箴言19:17说:“ 怜悯贫穷的,就是借给耶和华,他的善行,耶和华必偿还。”

    耶稣第一次讲道,在拿撒勒引用以赛亚书61:1(路加福音4:18上):“主的灵在我身上,因为祂用膏膏我,叫我传福音给贫穷的人。”

    马太福音25:40:“王要回答说:‘我实在告诉你们,这些事你们既做在我这弟兄中一个最小的身上,就是做在我身上了。’”

    雅各书1:27:“ 在神我们的父面前,那清洁没有玷污的虔诚,就是看顾在患难中的孤儿寡妇,并且保守自己不沾染世俗。”

服侍穷人即服侍主

 
“避寒运动”是一个让我们藉着服侍穷人来服侍主的美好机会。它不是一种义务,乃是一种荣幸,因为圣经教导我们服侍穷人就是侍奉主耶稣。(参马太福音25:31-46)“避寒运动”邀请每个人来服侍主。如果你曾经参与过,可以再来。那我们每天又怎样服侍穷人呢?耶稣要求我们像好撒马利亚人(参路加福音10:25-37)一般,流露舍己无私的爱。当我们遇见有需要的邻人,我们可以透过帮助他们而流露这种无私的爱,或者可以给他们一些钱。这就是那好撒玛利亚人树立的榜样,让我们都努力活出此种舍己无私的爱,去服侍人、服侍主!

下面是一些参与者的心声——

Aaryn (15 岁)

    在严寒的冬季,任何一位得享房顶的荫庇和新鲜煮热食物的温饱的人都是蒙福的。可惜,就算在繁荣的加拿大,并不是每一个居民都这么荣幸。虽然教会主办的“避寒运动”仅是小小的贡献,但是我衷心相信它会带来极大的影响。那几个月内,我们给有需要的人荫庇和温饱。一位智者曾经说:“爱不是把我们需要的东西献给别人,而是毫无保留地给予他们所需要的。”耶稣基督确切地供给我们所需的东西,不是祂所需要的。我觉得我们在“避寒运动”中,是效法耶稣基督的榜样。帮助无家可归者应是出于爱,绝对不是出于责任和自我荣耀。“避寒运动”的经历比三个社区服务小时的记录重大得多(译者按:安大略省的高中生必须累积至少四十小时社区服务工作方能毕业)。这次经历扩大了我的人生视野,也感谢神使用我做他的工作。在祷告中,我盼望明年将有更多人参与,“避寒运动”也能触摸更多的心灵。

Shervonne (13 岁)

    第一次参加“避寒运动”,我不晓得将有什么样的经历。尽管教会的长辈告诉我,我们会预备食物给市中心无家可归的人,可是我还是不确定事情实际上会如何发展。参与之后,我观察到的一切都深深地刻在我心里。那里的气氛洋溢着爱,而且每一个人都乐意协助。不管我们做什么,洗碗、服侍用饭和认识这些有需要的人,我们都同心协力地做工。影响我最深的,是我在帮忙这些有需要的人时体会到有意义地贡献自己的乐趣。

(原文都为英文,由本刊同工翻译成中文。)



Thoughts of “Out of the Cold”

Steve Chu


Out of the Cold, Into our Heart

     The Chinese Gospel Church downtown has been opening our doors to the homeless during the winter months for many years. Many from our Church and from other churches have helped to run this program by cooking and serving meals, setting up and cleaning up, entertaining the guests, sharing the Gospel, staying overnight, making breakfast etc, etc. There is something for everyone to do.

     Last year, some of us from the English congregation of CGC Scarborough helped with “Out of the Cold.” We provided a Chinese dinner, chicken soup, cake and ice cream. The teens served the meal and some of the adults sat and chatted with the guests. We played a game and gave out prizes to everyone who played. We all felt a sense of God’s blessing and a sense of joy that we served the poor as God had told us.

Compassion for the poor is rooted in the Heart and Word of God

     There are hundreds of verses in Scripture that commands us to take care of the poor in out midst. Just to quote a few verses.

     Deuteronomy 15:7 “do not be hardhearted and tightfisted toward your poor brother.”

     Jeremiah 22:16 “He (Josiah) defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me (God)?”

     Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.” 

     Jesus began his first sermon in Nazareth by quoting Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.”

     In Matthew 25:31-56 the Lord tells the story of the sheep and the goats and teaches that caring for the poor is the same as caring for Jesus.

    James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Serving the poor is serving Jesus (Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 25:40)

  
“Out of the Cold” is a great opportunity for us to serve Jesus through serving the poor. It is not an obligation; it is a privilege--if we really believe the Bible that we are serving Jesus when we are serving the poor. Everyone is invited to serve Jesus at “Out of the Cold.”

     If you have done it before, do it again. What about serving the poor in my daily life? Jesus invites us to show “agape love” like the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). When we come across a neighbour in need--we can show them “agape love” by lending a helping hand or/and giving money to people who are called to minister to the poor and needy. That’s what the Good Samaritan did. Will we show the same agape love?

The following are the impressions from some helpers

Aaryn (15 years old)

     During the harsh cold winters, anyone with a roof over their head and hot food in their mouth is blessed. Unfortunately, even in a country as prosperous as Canada, not every citizen has such luxuries. Even though the “Out of the Cold” program held by our church was a small contribution, I sincerely believe it made a big difference because for those few months, we gave these people a roof over their heads and hot food in their mouth. A very wise man once said, “Love is not giving someone else what you need yourself, but giving them what they need without reservation.” Christ gave us exactly what we needed, not what he needed, and I feel with the “Out of the Cold” program, we followed Christ’s example. Helping the homeless should never be done out of obligation nor self-seeking desires but out of love. This experience was much more than just three community involvement hours to put on my record. It was a life-changing eye opener and I thank God for using me to do his work. I pray that next year more people will be involved and that this outreach program will touch even more hearts than this year.

Shervonne (13 years old)

   
 I first went to “Out of the Cold” not knowing what to expect. I was told that we would be making food for the homeless downtown, but I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen. So when I went to the program, I was touched by what I saw. Not only was the atmosphere so loving, everyone who was there wanted to help. It didn’t matter what job you had, from washing dishes, to actually serving the people and getting to know them, we were all there to help. But what impacted me the most was how good it felt after knowing we had made a difference because we had helped those in need.