Hold Me: An Orphan, A Pro Athlete, and Jesus

Last night I stumbled upon a 2018 talk given by I’m Me non-profit founder and former NFL wide receiver David Nelson. I first became familiar with Nelson as a New York Jets fan watching him haul in receptions for the opposing Buffalo Bills prior to his run with the Jets. I enjoyed watching him a lot more as a New York Jet than I did as a Buffalo Bill. But, what stands out to me about Nelson, head and shoulders above other Jets players I’ve rooted for over the years is his commitment to fighting the orphan crisis in Haiti.

The entire hour spent listening to Nelson was well worth my time, but, what stood out to me most was his description of the encounters he had with kids in Haiti and, in particular, with an individual child in the last few minutes of his first visit to Haiti:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

David Nelson held Jesus in his arms and provided a couple of minutes of peace to Him and because of that encounter, it changed Nelson forever.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere of the planet. When we serve the needs of just one Haitian child, we serve Jesus Himself and, in doing so, our lives can change, too.

Feel free to listen to Nelson’s full message and hear about how you can get involved with the work his organization, I’m Me, is doing to serve the ‘least of these’ in Haiti. You can also explore opportunities with The Hands & Feet Project, an organization that is fighting side by side with I’m Me in the fight against the orphan crisis. Taking advantage of the opportunity to come into direct contact with Jesus is an action that you will never regret taking.

“Since we bear God’s image, no one is insignificant, no one is worthless. Life has meaning, and we have meaning and importance because God’s own imprint is upon our humanity. Thus we must see others as God sees them, treat them as he would and name them as he names them.” — Cross-Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer, Pp.63

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