In Troubled Times, Show Compassion, and Share Your Gift

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33

Disasters Around the World
Over the past several months, we have witnessed many disasters around the world. Millions of people have been impacted by earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes. Having lost everything, many people have no hope, but God has promised never to leave them nor forsake them.

God allows us the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus. The Atlantic Union Conference Youth Ministries Department strongly believes God desires us to do all we can to show compassion and help those in need. While it is impossible with our limited resources to physically help everyone, we have been praying for every situation. God has provided opportunities for us to do more than pray. He has allowed us to impact two areas that have been devastated by hurricanes.

Compassion Puerto Rico
The Atlantic Union Conference treasurer, Elias Zabala, Sr., and I were able to take a trip to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and visit more than 30 students from the Atlantic Union who are enrolled at Antillean University. With the full support of the union administration and donations from around the Atlantic Union, we were able to provide much-needed resources. Not only did we provide assistance for the students from the Atlantic Union, but we were also able to help the East Puerto Rico Conference in Rio Piedras. In addition, we donated funds to help the Loiza church that was suppling food to people in the community.

Compassion Texas
The Atlantic Union Conference Youth Ministries Department has organized three trips to Texas since Hurricane Harvey devastated the area. Several youth directors, youth, young adults, and union departmental leaders were able to visit Texas as we assisted in a tangible way. Volunteers helped with rebuilding several homes, provided financial resources, and encouraged and prayed with many who desperately needed to know that God still exists.

Share Your Gift During The Holidays
This holiday season, we recognize that there are tribulations in this world, but we are reminded of our role as Christians. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”—Matthew 25:40.

God wants us to share our gifts and change our world. When we share our gifts with those in need, we do it for God. He has given the ultimate gift, His son, Jesus. What will you give? How will you change your world? As this is the season of giving, consider giving a gift that could have an eternal impact. Use your time and talents to help those facing tribulations.

Andrés J. Peralta is the director for the Youth, Young Adult, Pathfinder, and Adventurer ministries in the Atlantic Union Conference.