"Part of being a person is about helping others" -Regis Murali 

"About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews. They were saying, "we have such large families. We need more food to survive." (Nehemiah 5:1ff) 

Currently, logical statistics in Uganda indicate the rise in debt financing in form of short loans being extended especially to the small-scale earners. To revamp their hand-to-mouth activities, small earners have resorted to soliciting soft loans from handbag money lenders and vast proprietors of microfinance institutions in exchange for their valuable and lasting properties. 

The situation is becoming even more complicated as going back to school nears! There is a risk of many people losing their property to those with liquid cash to be able to match up to paying school fees and other hefty school requirements.  

This is the similar situation that happened in Israel. Many of the returned exiles were suffering at the hands of some of their rich countrymen. These people would lend large sums of money; then when the debtors missed a payment, they would take over their fields. Later with no means of income, the debtors were forced to sell their children into slavery. Today the similar common practice of this is being forced to sell one's homestead and resorting to rejoining the village. 

This practice of lending money to the needy while taking dishonest advantage to enrich ourselves violates biblical principles. See Exodus 22:25. 

God's concern for those in need is asserted in almost every book in the Bible. Without any need for a classical interpretation, fairness to the needy is central to following God. A wide range of books right from Exodus 22:22-27, Leviticus 25:35-37, etc spells out that the way we help those in need ought to mirror God's love and concern.  

Lending money to a close friend or a smart acquainted person especially at the time of their need is not ungodly but charging interest as a clog intended to fail the would-be beneficiary is ungodly. Never intend to profit from someone's misfortunes, you may end up driving the misfortune your way.  

In contrast to the world values today, caring for one another is more important than personal gain. When we don't help others in need, we end up suffering! 

The words of Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi, the new Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance are still fresh in our minds: "the rich are not sleeping because the poor are not sleeping". His simple interpretation is simple and astute: if we don't help the poor to survive in this era of tough times we will not enjoy what we have. For the poor will craft, all means possible, whether just or unjust to survive against all odds. This will certainly affect our security among others.  

The book of proverbs 28:27 is clear on 'whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. As we navigate through the unrest caused by Covid-19,  make it a practice to help those in need around you.  

Martin Luther King Jr said this: "Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others." 

Prayer Today: Heavenly Father,  I thank you for such a bright day you have made. I notice Lord that among all that we have currently we have people who are hurting and needy people as a result of different reasons the top being Covid-19. My, Lord I lift this audience to you and ask that you would bless them, help them go through these tough times of taking their children back to school. Heal those with health challenges. I ask that you intercede for them, fulfill their need according to your will. Also, pray that you would use me to help them in any way I can. Open my eyes and make me aware of opportunities I have to bless others in need. In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.  

Albert Collins Kyeyune