Friday, December 2, 2011

When is Help Helpful?

Often, people "do good" to be praised rather than doing good in the proper time and to the right person/family/group. Doing a good deed for someone at the very moment when I saw the problem is more valued than solving the long-term problem or responding to that person’s need today. (I'm not talking here about an emergency like somebody is burnt, or is his house in fire or had a critical accident, or needs surgery immediately . . ..)
The truth is that each good deed is weighed by our God acording to the motivation we have when we perform it, and we need a smart and gradual plan to help somebody to get out of a difficult situation. We need to examine our motivations: Why am I doing this good deed? Is it my goal to bring glory to God through it?
From my own experience I have found that it is very important to understand the culture and the real needs of the community as well as the particular situation a particular person is struggling with. Then, act only after you understand it and after you got guidance from God on how to deal with their situation.
Don't rush to solve a crisis situation. Ask guidance from God before everything you decide to do. Do not pose yourself as the one who can solve everything. Make the ones you work with aware of your own dependence on God. Let them understand that you are just a simple tool in His hands--and you are not God.
Situations may arise when someone will plead to get your help in a tender, urgent situation. People may even be willing to give you their own word, in that situation, that no one will find out about your support. This is like a trap or a net, so be wise and avoid it. When you do decide it is appropriate to offer help, do it only after you have already built a trustworthy and respectful relationship. Have a goal to reach which those children/people/group of people will cooperate in reaching. Together, make clear each step that needs to be taken to fulfill this target.
Most people, adults as well as children, learn the most from imitation. They will observe all our deeds, all our reactions to different situations and will understand how they can deal with their own hard situations by practicing what they learnt already from you or from me. They can feel if we are serving them because of our love for God or because of another reason. Be concern if you are loved by them just because you are giving them all kind of goods, or material support.
Being helpful in Romany communities is more than providing goods or material support. It is a great work of God, first in us and only then through us to them. Thence let us spread through everything that we are "the fragrance of knowing Him and to do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).

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