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Christian evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham died Feb. 21. He wrote several weeks worth of columns before his death. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will continue to run his words in this space through his final column, which will run March 20.

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: For over a year I've been helping at a homeless shelter that's sponsored by our local churches, but frankly I'm not sure it's worth it. We keep seeing the same people over and over, and I wonder what good we're actually doing. What do you think about projects like this?

-- N.M.

DEAR N.M.: I'm thankful for every church and every individual who is willing to reach out and help those who face homelessness and hunger, no matter the cause. Jesus said, "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).

Yes, it may seem like some are taking advantage of your help, and have no apparent intention to become more responsible or to take steps to improve their lives. But that's not true of everyone you try to help -- not at all. Even if you helped just one person -- only one -- to commit his or her life to Christ and be transformed by His love, wouldn't your efforts be worth it? Of course.

Let me make two additional points about this. First, make prayer a regular part of your efforts. Pray for those who serve with you; pray for yourself; pray for the men and women (and children) you see; pray that more churches and more people will get involved. Pray most of all that those you help will see Christ through your efforts, and will open their hearts and lives to His love and transforming power.

Second, seek out new ways to help those you serve. Are there other programs in your community that can help them deal with the problems they face -- housing, education, jobs, etc.? Could your churches do more to assist them in practical ways? The Bible says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Romans 13:9).

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangenlistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit the website at

billygraham.org

Weekend on 03/08/2018

Print Headline: On Christianity

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