You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favour to her; the appointed time has come (Psalm 102:13)
I have drawn the word “Compassion” from the wells of Psalm 102 and Isaiah 54. God, speaking through Isaiah, to Israel says, “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.” The phrase “deep compassion” translates two Hebrew words, “gedolim” (great), and“Rachamim” (compassions). The word “rachamim” is in the plural, and it is usually used to speak of God’s compassions.
It is some years since Margaret and I developed the Rachamim Trust. The work provided free holidays, some in the UK and some in Israel itself, to those that had been damaged or traumatised through terrorism in the region. We paid the return airfare from Israel to London, and then host families in the UK took the guests into their homes for a couple of weeks. We had an agent in Israel helping to locate people that wanted to take up the offer of a free holiday. Those that couldn’t travel to the UK for one reason or another, we paid for them to holiday in Israel. It was going very well until I was found to have cancer in my right kidney and was hospitalised, and my kidney subsequently removed. Then our agent in Israel suffered from physical exhaustion and couldn’t do anything. The work didn’t actually grind to a halt, but we made the decision in our weakened condition to close down.
Rachamim Trust Revived?
I put a question mark because the work is reliant upon others; Margaret and I are only agents. The work is successful only if others come on board in support. The revived Rachamim Trust will take on a different form to that of the past. Israel is still at the forefront and Margaret is concerned that we help the Jewish people, but we also want to reach out to as many nations as possible; indeed, all nations, tribes, and tongues. This might be a bit ambitious for a man of my age, but I am perhaps thinking biblically at least! How many holidays we can provide will depend upon the amount of support we receive. Another difference from that of the past is that we will use a local holiday camp, sited just a short distance away from us. The site provides luxury caravans, with everything one needs. There is entertainment for those that want it, a shop, and a launderette. There is a bus stop outside the camp for travel to different towns. Our family would be available to transport guests from the airport to the holiday camp, and to do the return journey at the end of the holiday, and we will be on hand to help at all times. Costs will include flights, and the cost of the holiday camp. It would also be good if we could provide the living costs, food and drink for the duration of the holiday. To kick off the holiday part of the ministry we are looking to raise £10,000.
Help for the helpless
There is the mother of two sons struggling to provide for herself and her boys, since her abusive husband moved in with another woman, eventually marrying her. The Christian mother, living in Asia, could not afford to take time off work without our help, and could never finance a holiday of any kind. The eldest son suffered a head injury and the mother had to lose work to care for him, adding more hardship. Both boys, even though they are older now, still suffer the scars from their father’s treatment of them and their mother. We want to bring her to the UK for a real break. We want to pre-book her holiday to make sure she has a place in 2020. By showing love and kindness, and sharing what we have in time and resources, such people are encouraged to know that their heavenly Father loves and cares for them. They are not alone, however remote their situation. In 1894 English and Welsh missionaries took the Gospel to the region of South China, and on into the North of India, and created an alphabet for the local people to use. Missionaries from Wales that originally took the Gospel to this particular people included William Williams and J.H Lorrain among others. They were sponsored by a wealthy man living in London – Robert Arthington. Let us honour these men as well as our God, by showing compassion to those that they took the Gospel to, in that remote part of India and China.
Robert Arthington (20 May 1823 – 7 October 1900) was a British investor, philanthropist and premillennialist. He was the son of a wealthy brewery owner from whom he inherited his fortune. He was brought up in a prosperous family of Quakers, but converted to Protestantism. Although he was an excellent student at Cambridge University, he did not earn any degree. He devoted his life and wealth to Christian evangelism. He committed himself to a life of tramp and a recluse, minimising his entire expenditure on his own welfare. This was due to his strong premillennialism that when the Gospel of Jesus is spread to the entire world, then the Second Coming of Christ would happen. He was the benefactor to the success of Baptist Missionary Society and London Missionary Society, thereby becoming the principal factor in the spread of Protestantism, modernisation and formal education in the remotest parts of the world. If there were those that would emulate such a man in today’s world….
We also want to be able to assist some people in their own countries. In Africa, there is the young woman living alone with her son. Their accommodation is one room where they do everything, eat, sleep, toilet, everything. She never complains and she never asks for anything. Her father died several years ago, and her mother married again. The young woman did not get on with her stepfather, so moved away from the family home. She became pregnant, and has a little boy. She is from a Catholic background. We would like to be able to improve her situation and quality of life, by providing decent accommodation for her and her son.
The person we want to bring for a holiday as soon as possible also comes from Africa. Her father died from cancer when she was very young. Her mother was left to bring up three children on her own. They are a Christian family, and we want to give this young lady a holiday for a number of reasons. She could never afford to pay for a holiday herself. We have been encouraging her in her work for a while now. In 2017, she, along with a few other women from her village opened up a school for orphans, and poor children, providing education, food and clothing. We were originally considering adding a classroom onto the present building, but have changed our plans. We want to be able to talk Panim el Panim פָּנִ֖ים אֶל־פָּנִֽים – face-to-face, about the future development of the school.
A plot of land has been donated to us, about 2 hectares in size, to build a purpose-built school. So, we have the land, and we have the children; now we need the finance to build the school. It will include three classrooms that can be sub-divided and partitioned off creating 6 classrooms in all. It will have an office, a staff rest-room, cloakroom, toilets, kitchen, and a sick-room should a child, or children become ill while in attendance at school. There will be a recreational playground with climbing frames, and areas for sports and games. A name put forward for the school is, Hashkama School. Hashkama is from the Hebrew, meaning, Wake Up! Once the school is ready, it will need furnishing with desks and chairs, cupboards, books, computers, and a fitted kitchen. We need to discuss how we can set up a water system so that the school always has an adequate supply of clean water on tap. The school will be situated amongst the Maasai villages in Tanzania, and like the present school, it will not receive government funding. We want to fit solar panels to the building, providing electricity, lighting up the classrooms inside, and lighting up the area outside. It will be a light in a dark place as it will be visible to many in the area. The bible will be taught there and the children will see and learn first-hand how their heavenly Father loves and provides for them. We know that our Father who is in Heaven has compassion on us. Are our hearts filled with compassion for the less well-off? Does the Lord Jesus neglect those that are not blessed with the riches of this world? No! He does not. He expects those with riches to share what they have with the poor. To begin the building and equipping of the school we are looking to raise £20,000 in the first instance.
Thank you to those that have taken the time to read this. We pray God’s blessing on your life. Please pray for us, and share this letter with others. You can contact us by email:
Blessings and shalom,
Malcolm & Margaret [04.10.2019]