No Longer Looking for the Helpers

  • April 2020

Growing up, one of the most influential persons in every child’s life of the ‘70s and ‘80s was a man named Mr. Rogers. Every weekday Mr. Rogers would appear on the television and teach his viewers about a variety of ways to be a good neighbor.

The episodes would cover simple topics such as “sharing” and also find room to include more complicated social issues like how to deal with racism and bigotry. And no matter the subject, the lessons of Fred Rogers would always have a powerful message that stuck with the viewer.

One of Mr. Rogers’ most memorable quotes was,

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

Since becoming a part of the United World Mission family, I have no longer had to look for the helpers because I have been surrounded by them on a daily basis. Every day I stroll into the office or connect with our regional leaders I enjoy the unique blessing of speaking with individuals who are feeding the hungry in Latin America, or rescuing children from human trafficking in Africa, or faithfully serving refugees here in the United States.

With a focus on equipping leaders, coming alongside nationals to help establish churches, and engaging in justice and mercy ministries around the world, there is hardly a corner of the globe in which the love of God is not actively being shared by members of the United World Mission family.

For Christians, we were taught in 1 Peter 4:12-19 to expect hard times and rejoice through them. But for the unreached of the world, I take solace in knowing that those who make the commitment to become a missionary with United World Mission are making a commitment, not only to help fulfill the Great Commission, but they are also making a commitment to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

And a person who chooses to live out Proverbs 31:8-9 is exactly the type of person that Mr. Rogers would call a “good neighbor.”

– by Eddy Paul Thomas, UWM