Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I used to be like most people in the check-out line, waiting impatiently for the checker to scan my items and bag them so I could be on my way. Then, one day a few years ago, I actually stopped long enough to look at the person scanning my groceries…really look at them. And what I saw was a tired, sullen lady, mechanically scanning my items without even looking up. Instantly, I felt a check in my spirit—you know the one—the sweet prompting from the Holy Spirit to reach out.

So, I simply asked, “How is your day going?”

With the look she gave me, you would have thought those 5 words were, “You’ve just won the lottery.” She literally stopped scanning, looked up, and gave me the biggest smile.

“Thank you so much for asking!” She replied. Then, she went on to share with me all about her day. Her whole demeanor had changed! I helped bag my groceries, wished her a wonderful day, and left the store in shock at what one simple question could do.

Since that day, I’ve made it a point to ask that same question as often as I can. At the gas station, the drive-thru, the post office…and every time I ask it, I’m blown away at the wide-open door that results from taking a moment to simply care.

My friends, isn’t that what walking the walk is? It’s caring for others as we care for ourselves. It’s taking the mundane moments and turning them into opportunities to bless others—even if it’s only with a question!

So, here is the challenge. Begin asking God for opportunities to bless people. Ask Him to lift your impatience long enough to look someone in the eye and ask how they are. Ask the Lord for a listening ear—not a half-listening ear, glued to your smartphone—a genuine, tuned-in ear that really cares.

You may not realize this, but our ministry at Christians Care International is full of asking. We ask God for divine direction. We ask our faithful donors for support. We ask our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters how we can best help them. Asking is such a big part of what we do! 

This passage in Matthew 7 describes it best…

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:7-12)

You know, most children in elementary school learn the Golden Rule and can recite it by heart. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But let us not merely recite these words, my friends. Let’s look at others beyond the surface of the check-out counter. Let’s ask ourselves how we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes. Then, let’s take that opportunity to connect.

I’m truly grateful for that day in the check-out line several years ago. I sometimes wonder how many times God tried to wake me up to the needs of others, but I was too preoccupied to listen. However, it is never too late to start caring. Ask God for that check in your spirit, prompted by His Spirit, to notice someone in need. Then, simply ask, “How is your day going?”

Walking the walk with all of you,

Jennifer Waddle, CCI Ministry Development Team

Standing in The Gap

Olivia Acute Leukemia

On the evening of February 4th, 1999, my husband and I welcomed our only daughter into the world. She was round and pink with a head full of dark hair and we were instantly smitten by her. The nurse wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to me—she was the loveliest thing I’d ever seen! 

Moments later, the nurse leaned over and said, “I need to take her for a minute.” My daughter was rushed to a nearby examining table where nurses began suctioning her throat and doctors began filling the room. Something was terribly wrong.

Hours later, I followed my husband to the NICU where our girl was intubated with a breathing tube. Unbeknownst to us, she had been born with a benign tumor called a teratoma that had grown above her soft palate and was largely blocking her airway. 

Through intensive surgery and weeks of recovery, the worry and fear we experienced was grueling. There were moments where we faced the unthinkable possibility of losing our daughter. At my lowest point, I remember leaning over her hospital bassinet and coming to the realization that God might not heal our baby. I was faced with this question:

Will I still be able to say that God is good if He chooses not to heal?

Oh, how I wrestled with that question! My prayers turned to cries, which turned to begging, which finally turned to…surrender. It was at that moment of surrender that I began to sing…

God is so good, He’s so good to me.

Over and over I sang that chorus, clinging to the Scripture, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!”(Psalm 107:1)

If you’ve ever experienced a serious medical challenge with a child or loved one, you know that sinking feeling of helplessness. There is, perhaps, no worse fear than the possibility of losing a life that is precious to you.

As you may know, Christians Care International has walked the healing journey with many families over the years. One of the most recent journeys has been with the family of our dear, sweet, Olivia, who is fighting for her life with a battle against Acute Leukemia. I can only imagine the worry and fear that has gripped Olivia’s parents as they helplessly stand by, hoping for the best.

My friends, let us stand in the gap for precious Olivia and for many others who deserve a fighting chance! As CCI assists Jewish orphans, widows, Holocaust survivors, and suffering families in Ukraine, let’s join hands in prayer and life-saving medical contributions. Without our help, there would be little chance for them to get the proper medical attention, or even have a chance at survival.

Along with supporting our Emergency Aid Program, I’d like to personally encourage you to reach out to someone close to you who is facing a medical challenge. Because my family went through it, I know how much it means to have people rally to your side.

Bringing hot meals, caring for our older children, purchasing gift cards, and offering to run errands for us were things people did during those weeks of medical crisis. I can’t tell you how wonderful even the smallest acts of kindness were!

Who needs your prayers and loving support during their current medical challenge? Will you find a way to reach out and support them? Thank you for standing in the gap. Your kindness will forever be remembered!

Walking the walk with all of you,

Jennifer Waddle, CCI Ministry Development Team

All In and In Step

We’d been fishing for nearly an hour when my grown son leaned over and said, “Uh, Mom, do you still have bait on your line?” 

“Oh, yeah,” I replied, confidently. “I’m sure I do.”

Then my son asked, “Do you have a weight on your line? Most of the fish are at the bottom.” 

Reeling in, I saw that there was no weight. There was no bait. And there was no hook! I’d been so sure I knew what I was doing, (and equally sure I was going to catch the first fish), I’d rushed to get my line in the water without securing it.

So it is with the Christian life, isn’t it? We are so confident we know what we are doing, we take off running, only to realize we’ve run way ahead of the Lord without His provision.

Walking the walk of faith is both “all-in” and “in-step.”

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

So what does this mean for our day-to-day lives, my friends?

I’m afraid there have been some confusing messages concerning the call to follow Christ. And if we’re completely honest, being “all in” for the Lord can feel overwhelming. 

However, what if walking the walk is really about small, faithful steps of love? In your sphere of influence—your family, neighborhood, and community, who might need an extension of God’s love through you?

A family member might need your forgiveness and a fresh start.

A neighbor might need your time and talent to help finish a task.

A homeless person might need a meal and a listening ear.

My friends, this is what walking the walk looks like!

You should know, that it is only by taking one faithful and loving step at a time that we, at Christians Care International, are able to reach our suffering Jewish brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Although we are eager to help as many as we possibly can, we know that it is by extending God’s love to one beloved person at a time that we are making the greatest impact for His people.

So, my friends, in what way will you walk the walk today? Don’t be overwhelmed! Be encouraged. You don’t have to rush to be the first one to cast your line. You don’t need to worry about who catches the first fish. Your small cast of love is the perfect first step!

My son and I still laugh about the day I cast my line into the water without bait or hook. It’s a silly memory I won’t forget. But it’s also a reminder that there is a sea of people in need of God’s love. Whatever sandy shore you find yourself standing on today, please know that the tiniest ripple you cast will join the swell of other ripples, becoming a wave of God’s unstoppable love.

Walking the walk with all of you,

Jennifer Waddle, CCI Ministry Development Team