When Juel, aged 14, joined the Tearfund-supported Ekota Bible Study Group, there was one subject he wanted to find out more about: Jesus. The accounts in the Bible about the Son of God fascinated him. But one passage in particular motivated him into action...
The story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people (which appears in all four gospels) had a profound effect on the teenager. Juel was moved by Jesus’ compassion on the crowd and how he then fed all the hungry people. Knowing that there were many in his own community living in poverty, Juel was inspired to follow Jesus to meet this need.
Wave of kindness
He thought that Christmas would be a perfect time to provide for people. Juel wanted to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a practical way by providing clothes to support people through the harsh winter.
So he proposed an idea to the other ten members of the Bible study group: ‘We should do something for poor people in our community,’ said Juel. ‘We should think about them. Let’s gather our spare clothes and then give them to people at Christmas.’
The idea was met with great enthusiasm by the group. Juel’s parents were so impressed by his compassion that they pitched in: washing the collected clothes and drying them in the sun ready for distribution. Soon, the family’s neighbours also caught the wave of kindness, donating clothes and children’s toys for needy families. Just like the feeding of the 5,000, a young boy offering what he had was greatly increased, and many people were blessed as a result.
The Christmas gifts were a huge success, and the group are continuing to collect for people in need. ‘We should worry about poor people,’ says Juel, ‘because they suffer a lot in the winter. I am very glad we can help.’