Last year, the Lord placed it in my heart to resume my work as senator. Although it was not in my plans, God allowed me to return to represent Colombians for the third time in that place. I have come to realize that there needs to be a clear vision and goal that we want to achieve on every occasion.
In 1991, my goal was to ensure that Christians were able to enter political settings, and in 2006, the goal was to attain the approval of 12 laws that would benefit our citizens. But in 2018, the Lord stirred my heart to lead a work to eradicate poverty, so we have begun to take steps to achieve this goal.
Based on Matthew 25:35 (For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in), I asked the Holy Spirit to give me strategies to reach this goal.
That was how our work began to help those coming to our country to seek refuge – on this occasion, our Venezuelan brothers and sisters, who are fleeing from a social and political regime that has oppressed them. Our goal is to guarantee their basic rights. I understood that as a legislator for Colombia, I was able to work towards this goal and, as a pastor, I was able to provide social support to those facing this social, economic and humanitarian crisis. So that is what we have done.
On a legislative level, we presented a proposal to help these communities, and as a church, we helped to provide suitable housing for some of the Venezuelan families we found wandering the streets of Bogota, many with small children.
I know that every nation has different needs, but whatever those may be, I am convinced that we as citizens can contribute to improving our countries. I have always said that the little of many is enough, and that deciding to help those in need can change the course of every nation.
Poverty in the world is still incredibly high. According to the World Bank, almost half of the world’s population, that is, 3.4 billion people, still have great difficulty in providing for their most basic needs.
As Christians, leaders in social settings or politicians, we should set goals this year that will allow us to improve society, to strengthen families and to promote the protection of children.
I was impressed to read about the work of Bob Moffitt, author of the book, If Jesus were Mayor. He teaches how we can show the love of God in a practical way by meeting the needs of our communities, and he shows how, through serving the community, we can eradicate poverty from the countries most in need. His work is based in India, where he has led social help projects, through Harvest Ministries, that have brought about improvements in the development of their communities. He calls us to become social reformers in our nations. We need to go out to help those who are most in need, and to take the message of Christ to people in that way.
I am convinced that each one of us can do more for our communities. We must no longer be indifferent to the needs of our brothers and sisters; it is time to act and to truly become those good Samaritans and the reformers that every nation needs.
My work is only just beginning, but my great desire is to leave lasting change in my nation that allows families to enjoy a better standard of living and to ensure that those most in need are always protected. This is how we can eradicate poverty. I have already started. What are you waiting for?
Emma Claudia Castellanos