Are there ever times in your life where you look around, see the true need in this world and think, “Wow this is awful, so many people in this world are suffering, but I am just one person, what can I do to make a difference?” I know that I have felt that way many times. It is overwhelming when I see the plight of so many around the world and I just don’t know what I could possibly do to comfort these people or ease their burdens from half a world away.
I suppose if everyone thought that way the needs of those suffering would never be met. There are organizations that help people in various ways in countries all over the world, but they depend upon the individuals who help in whatever way they can. One person, doing what they are able to do, and one person encouraging others to do what they are able to do, and so on. Each of these charitable organizations have started with one person, and with the help of others they have become national and international organizations.
Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, in his book Living Beyond the Limits says that when the shoe box campaign Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 they expected to receive a few thousand boxes, instead over twenty thousand boxes came in and he says “Operation Christmas Child took off like a rocket and spread like wild fire. It kindled passionate generosity in people’s hearts.”One child giving to another. Simple as that. The project is do-able, it is one shoe box filled with school supplies, toiletry items, socks, small toys and candy. That is something anyone can do. If everyone did it or contributed how many boxes would there be, representing how many children? In 2007, Canadians donated 661,530 shoe boxes to the world’s needy children. For more information you can visit the website forSamaritans Purse/Operation Christmas Child.
Okay, Franklin Graham has connections, he had a way to get the message out and make sure people were aware of this incredible opportunity to help children around the world. So do you think to yourself, I can’t do what Franklin Graham did, what Samaritan’s Purse did?
You can. With God’s help you can. If God is in it, He will bless it and make it grow.
“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.” James 1:27 NIV
Here is a fact that should get our attention: according to the UN in 2006 there were 12 million AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa alone and it was estimated that in only 4 years, that number will have risen to 18.4 million. The number of orphans in the world is increasing dramatically and it is expected to reach 250 million by 2017. How can one person help?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
In June 2002 a young mother, named Catherine, was studying “The Prayer of Jabez” and she was struck by the idea of expanding her territory, she wondered how she could do that and what could she do?
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NKJV)
It was at that time that the Jabez Blanket Ministry was born. Catherine Trafford Welk and her sister Sharon Trafford James worked together to create a way to help orphans. Catherine and Sharon did not know how big this ministry would be but they began, led by God, to help in whatever way He wanted, and “God granted ‘them’ what ‘they’ requested.”
The Jabez Blanket Ministry provides “Backpacks of Hope” for Orphans living in unimaginable poverty in Orphanages around the world. What began as an idea of ‘what can I do?’ has become a valuable way to help orphans, meeting both physical needs and spiritual needs. The Jabez “Backpack of Hope” contains a colorful, hand-crocheted or knitted blanket for warmth, a comforting Teddy Bear “friend” and essential School Supplies for learning. If the longing eyes of a tiny, fragile child were to look up into your eyes, and you were able to place a warm blanket in his/her hands and a precious little bear next to his/her heart, who would be the happier? The child or you?
Since its inception in 2002, Jabez Blanket Ministry has shipped Backpacks of Hope to 20 countries around the world! What began as a simple question: ‘what can I do?’ has, with God’s blessing, become an international ministry reaching orphans in some of the poorest nations across the globe.
Countries that have received blessings from Jabez Blanket Ministry include the following: Haiti, Zambia, Kenya, Eastern Siberia, Ukraine, Russia, Guatemala, Peru, Columbia, Romania, Nepal, Swaziland, Bengal, Lebannon, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Honduras, Uganda, Sudan and China.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31: 8,9 NIV
There are MILLIONS of Orphans needing your help, in some way, to the extent you are able. Would you consider bringing comfort, hope, and joy to a hurting child who looks to anyone to help?
For Blanket Instructions, or further Ministry information, or to help with the basic material costs of a Jabez “Backpack of Hope” (tax receiptable), kindly contact:
Jabez Blanket Ministry International
P.O. Box 336
Killaloe, Ontario, Canada
The Jabez Blanket Ministry is a Canadian Registered Charity, working jointly with established North American Organizations.
One person with God’s help can make a difference!