“It’s about the children!”
The burden Dave carried for the children grew as he traveled into scores of desolate countries, helping more and more populations of people. His heart opened ever wider to the needs of millions of orphans and vulnerable children from Vietnam, the Philippines, to Africa. He knew that these children didn’t chose their plight or abuse. But Dave knew that even food and water could not quench their deepest need. That need was hidden just a few inches above their aching stomachs, which often bulged from their bony frames. While their bodies cried out for nourishment, their hearts were starved even more for hope. Hope for a better future. Hope to be cherished. Hope for a safe place to sleep, an education, thriving health, protection from abuse, a way to simply survive. Dave could not turn his back on the children, even amid the overwhelming need he encountered. He knew that he possessed the very hope that each child desperately needed—“Hopes name is Jesus!”
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it for me!'” Matthew 25:37-40 NLT
God commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When considering that commandment, we realize that we would give ourselves food when hungry, shelter from the environment, and medical attention when needed. Does God call us to give less to our neighbors? There is divine wisdom behind each commandment. God knows that giving works in the deepest crevices of our souls. Especially when we give in spite of our own need. And the reward is far greater when we expect nothing in return. God knows that giving helps loosen our grip on the things of the world. Our hold on the things of this world can take our hearts hostage. Yet as we let go, we invite a healthy flow of giving and receiving from the Holy Spirit, instead of a stagnant soul inside. Being obedient to God causes a shift to occur, opening us up for more of what God wants to pour into our lives—JOY, PEACE, HOPE, and so much more! A far greater fulfillment than we could ever know living outside of his will.
Let go, there’s more!
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
In 1992 God gave Dave and his wife Jean the vision for Children’s Cup International Relief . The strategy of this ministry is to give hope, inspire dreams, and change the world where these children live. These children are then equipped to give hope, inspire dreams, and change the world—breaking the cycle of hopelessness, poverty, and disease. Instead, the children and their community become a cycle of hope.
After twenty years Children’s Cup is seeing the fruit of its labor. People who have gone through their CarePoints, lived in “I Am Not Forgotten” homes, and/or have gone through the Global Leadership Academy, they are returning to help the next generation thrive. Children receive food, clothing, medical attention, education, a safe place to live, and Christ changes their hearts. Through this effort, communities are growing stronger and becoming more sustainable through time.
Jean Ohlerking said when looking at the overall scope of the problem, the need is as vast as an ocean. Overwhelming! But when you approach that ocean one bucket of water at a time—one child at a time—you can effectively change a life, a family, a village, a country, and eventually the world.
Don’t miss out on what God has in store for you. Join the team and scoop up a bucket of water, and make a difference in the life of a child.
To read more of the late Dave Ohlerking’s journey as a missionary and “Pop” to countless children, go to: http://daveohlerking.blogspot.com/