The Good Samaritan

Arthur was an elderly man—poor . . . and vulnerable. One night while walking down a dark street, Arthur was knocked violently to the ground and all his money was taken. It came to only $90, but it was all the money he had in the world. When released from the hospital, Arthur faced the challenge of putting his life back together. But Arthur was one of the lucky ones: He wasn't alone. By his side were volunteers from an organization called Neighbors Who Care ®, a subsidiary of Prison Fellowship, dedicated to helping victims of crime. The volunteers purchased groceries; they drove Arthur to a social service agency to get assistance. But most of all, they gave him a listening ear—the human warmth and sympathy he needed to overcome the fear that haunts all victims of crime. By talking with the Neighbors Who Care volunteers, Arthur realized that what he needed most was a new life, and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. Chances are, you've been a victim of crime yourself. Statistics show that at some point in our lives, 99 percent of us will go through the experience. Even if you're among the 1 percent who is not affected personally, crime is certain to hit someone you know—someone in your family, in your neighborhood. In the five minutes you took to drink your morning cup of coffee, 18 violent crimes were committed across the United States; 150 property crimes were committed. Every 10 seconds a home or office is broken into. Every four seconds something is stolen. Behind these statistics is a mountain of pain and anguish. People who have been assaulted. People whose homes have been invaded. People left with a legacy of fear and sleepless nights. This is a need that Christians ought to be addressing. All of us know the story of the Good Samaritan. It's one of the first Bible stories we learned as children. But think for a moment: Who was the man the Good Samaritan helped? A man who had been assaulted and robbed. A victim of crime. When Jesus told us to be a neighbor to those in need, the example He chose was a man who had been the victim of a vicious crime. But today churches have largely abandoned this area to social service agencies. Neighbors Who Care is out to change that. In its pilot projects, Neighbors Who Care organized volunteers in local churches to help thousands of crime victims with practical assistance and caring support. When Tom was paralyzed by a gunshot, volunteers built a wheelchair ramp in his house. When Larry's home was burglarized, volunteers pooled their funds to refurbish it. When Mary's home was broken into by someone in her neighborhood, volunteers helped pack her belongings and move her to a new apartment. These are practical ways churches can help heal the wounds left by crime—and witness the love of Christ at the same time. If you've never become involved in a ministry of this kind, this is a good week to start. It's both National Crime Victims' Rights Week and National Volunteer Week. Why not contact us here at "BreakPoint" for more information on Neighbors Who Care—the first national Christian network for helping victims of crime. Learn how you can be a real Good Samaritan. Neighbors Who Care P.O. Box 17500 Washington, DC 20041-0500


Chuck Colson


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