Spotlight 8/2021: Let us live our future today

An emaciated dog was cowering under a bush and a group of young boys took compassion on the starving animal. Why? A touching story told by District Apostle John Kriel from South Africa.

At the end of last year, a heart-warming story made the news. Five boys between the ages of seven and twelve from an informal settlement called Sweet Home Farm (near Cape Town) found an emaciated, worn-out Labrador lying under some bushes near where they lived. They took compassion on the animal and, with an old leather belt as a collar, they walked with the dog to the Animal Welfare Society approximately five kilometers away.

The animal-carers there described the moving sight of five boys coming through the gate with their hands on the dog encouraging him to keep moving. They could not help but to give the dog, which the boys had named Champ, extra loving care in nursing him back to good health. Champ was eventually adopted and the boys were present when he was taken home by his new owners. They themselves now do volunteer duty at the Animal Welfare Society every Saturday.

When the staff asked one of the boys what had motivated him to treat the dog in this fashion, he mentioned that he wanted to become a veterinarian and said, “Dogs love us and protect us so we should love and protect them too. That’s why we helped Champ.”

Now you may ask, what does this have to do with our motto? This particular boy has a future career in mind and while he must still qualify for it, he is already showing the characteristics one would look for in a good veterinarian. Let us draw some comparisons.

Caring. The boy believes dogs love him and protect him and he should do the same. Christ loves us; do we love Him in return? He protects us; do we protect His holy name and defend Him?

Deeds. The boy was willing to do something about the way he felt. He was willing to make the effort to ensure that the dog got help. Are we also willing to follow up our words or thoughts with good deeds? Are we willing to engage in acts of kindness to glorify our Redeemer Jesus Christ?

Selflessness. Those who know the conditions in an informal settlement will understand the meagre existence of these young lads. They could rightfully have thought of their own needs first. Are we willing to sacrifice for the Lord even when we are in circumstances where we could legitimately make our own needs a priority?

Finding help. Help was available and these youngsters knew where to find it. They took the dog there and kept encouraging it. Are we also confident in where our help is to be found? Are we willing to encourage others and lead them to where this help can be found?

Christ is our future. Are we living our future today?

Photo: NAC Southern Africa

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John Leslie Kriel
District Apostle, motto, Christ, our future