By Pastor Isaac Mathembe
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so (Proverbs 3:27).
I was born in a rural village called Matateni in Kangundo, Kenya. I am the firstborn in a family of five children. We were raised by our single-mother, Elizabeth, and grew up in a single room where my mother still lives to this day.
My mother spent most of our growing up time working in a bar, a job she chose to do because of the poor state that we found ourselves in. She earned less than a dollar a day, which was supposed to take care of our feeding, rent, school fees, emergencies like sickness, and other basic needs. Her wages could not afford to take care of all these needs.
Because of this background, my siblings and I didn’t make it in education. By the time I was in form two [10th grade in the US system], my mom could not afford to pay for my school fees and I was forced to drop out. My sister passed away while she was in form four [12th grade US], and my other brothers didn’t even get to high school, except for my youngest brother who dropped out in form three.
My life story is that of many Kenyans. I have shared this story with a lot of people whom God has placed in positions of privilege who could touch and transform the lives of many people here in Kenya. Few have made us a priority. I see them give priority to pets, weddings, divorce cases, sponsoring animal orphanages and spending a lot of money buying gifts or attending to their animals, which are to me, less valuable than humanity. There is nothing wrong in all these, but my concern as a Christian is what should be given priority.
I am convinced that the author of Proverbs 3:27 had the poor, the needy, and the less fortunate in mind when he wrote this. This is also the mind of Christ. He had – and still has – compassion on us and we have an opportunity to emulate such.
The Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:10 wrote: Therefore as we have opportunity let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.I pray that as we enjoy the blessings and the goodness of the Lord, we will remember the poor and the less fortunate. Amen.
Pastor Isaac leads two congregations in Mutalia and Matu, Kenya, and serves as Academic Dean at the Berean School of Ministry and Bible Institute in Tala, Kenya.
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