In Meridian, a young man came up with a simple idea that is helping many people. It all started with an empty lot overgrown with weeds that needed to be put to a better use than the seedy things that were going on in there.
With many children in the community, the idea was to move out the old mattresses and cut the weeds and build a playground. But the Wesley House, who owned the property, didn't have the money to do this. Nobody did, until Trey Long posted a simple request on line.
"I sent out an email real quick and said, What could you do with ten dollars? And it listed several options that you could do with ten dollars, or you could help build a playground in a poverty stricken area in Meridian, Mississippi," said 1st John 3:17 founder Trey Long. "And in one month we had the money from just that one email came in to build this playground for these kids."
But that was just the beginning. After a youngster came to the playground with no coat, and explained he didn't own one, Trey went back to his email list and in no time the youngster had a coat.
"And then the next week I said hey, I've got these connections through the playground For Jesus and a small group of friends and an email list and I'll just ask the Wesley House here that has people come in every week asking for assistance if there was ever any that they couldn't afford because of their budget and limitation," explained Trey. "I ask them if they wouldn't start giving me one every week and I would email it out and see how it went. So that's how 1st John 3:17 started."
1st John 3:17 in the New Testament says, If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need and has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
That text in the Bible has become the title for the emails Trey sends out on a weekly basis. A local radio station also airs the needs every Monday morning now, and the Meridian newspaper lists them. And there has never been a week that the listed need hasn't been met, sometimes through a combination of donations from several people, sometimes through a single gift.
"We all have got a big family that has come together as a 1st John 3:17 community that just will not let needs go undone," said Trey.
All of the contributions go to the Wesley House. And thanks to Trey Long and his email list and the Internet and the 1st John 3:17 Community for Making a Difference in Meridian.
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