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Doing God's Work by Working

Tekwaro Onyala prepares his field near Nimule, South Sudan, for sweet potatoes.

Tekwaro Onyala prepares his field near Nimule, South Sudan, for sweet potatoes. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS

God works. And God made work an integral part of our being. Our labor is one expression of our identity, and through it we imitate God.

In our world, work can sometimes seem like a burden, but it was never intended to be.

Further, our own attitudes toward work can foster inequality, denying the dignity bestowed upon each of us as created in God's image. We sometimes use odd scales to assign values to different types of work. Entertainers may be millionaires, a status never achieved by even the best trash collectors, house cleaners or fruit pickers.

But even if worldly estimation of work is confused, we can still recognize and enjoy the dignity inherent in all labor. Approached humbly, even the "lowliest" task can be prayer, an offering to God. In faith, the effort is ours; the results are God's. That insight releases the burdens of labor and helps us join in God's work, regardless of our occupation.

CRS places a high value on helping our poorest brothers and sisters enjoy the dignity of labor and the independence it brings. We strive to "strengthen livelihoods" to provide opportunities for people to support themselves and be self-sufficient for the long term.

And our work depends entirely on the generosity you have shown over and over again by sharing the fruits of your labors with people you have never met. Your gifts do much more than provide food or water for a day; they support lasting solutions to poverty. They promote self-sufficiency by helping people establish secure livelihoods.

Gideon threshed grain; Moses and David herded sheep; Peter was a fisherman; Paul, a tentmaker. They held lowly occupations. God used them for great ends. That dynamic continues today.

Jesus was a laborer. He still is. And he invites us to join him in his field ... which for us is the world.

Thank you for joining us and sharing the rewards of your work.

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