This is a short story but it packs an enormous message.

George Voss had a massive stroke while only in his 40’s. He now lives in a nursing home, confined to his bed for life, he is unable to use his arms, hands, legs or feet. He cannot feed himself or even lift his head without assistance. His vision is greatly impaired, and he struggles to communicate.

Many people in George’s condition would be consumed by self-pity and despair. But by God’s grace he has chosen to be a blessing instead.

From his nursing home bedroom, George has become a missionary who has provided goats for needy families in Zambia for the last seven years. He began asking friends and relatives to purchase a goat for $25. The goats are given to Zambian grandmothers raising children whose parents died from AIDS.

George is passionate about his mission. Any visitor who shows up in George’s room is a prospect. “People come through the door,” he said, “I pray for them, and they give me money for goats.”

Chad McCallum, director of mobilization for The Wesleyan Church’s Global Partners, recently met George and bought a goat. Chad said, “I was privileged to be in the presence of one who had a great purpose in life, even in the face of great challenge. George’s love for Jesus and for people was crystal clear.”

Today, pictures of grateful grandmothers, children, and their goats cover the walls of George’s room. His “herd” of goats has grown to over a thousand.

I hope you have been thinking: “What would I have done if I was George?” But that is not possible nor necessary. There are other things that make it difficult for us to become a physically active part of such a ministry. Yet, that is no excuse. We read in God’s Word where it says, “Whoever is generous to those in need lends to the Lord, and He will repay them for their giving.”[1] It doesn’t say how much or how often. Having a heart that is willing to do something is all God’s asks for.

Our Lord Jesus put it another way, He said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”[2] Then our Master stated, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”[3] This does not specify that giving must be in the form of money, but it includes time, effort, ideas, planning, and directing.

But the Apostle John put it most strongly. He let it be known that  if anyone has something to offer and sees their fellowman in need, yet closes their heart against them, how can God’s love be living in them?[4] God will only ask of us what He knows we are able to give. He doesn’t count giving by quantity, but by quality. One spoken word, one act of kindness, one helping hand can make a big difference on someone else’s life. It isn’t George who owns those thousand goats, that’s God’s property. That’s why our heavenly Father is using them to let George’s light shine a continent away from his bed in the nursing home. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Proverbs 19:17

[2] Mattthew 5:16

[3] Luke 6:38

[4] 1 John 3:17

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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