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"Don't Drag Me into the Middle of This!"

My favorite 10K run is called “The Good Sam Run” in San Jose, California. It is nothing out of the ordinary as a run. Still, its uniqueness comes at the finish line, where runners pass by several booths where signs invite runner to stop by various hospital screening rooms for a free prostate PSA test, mammogram, pap smear, heart disease prevention, helps for diabetes, and so on. If the runner doesn’t have time after the race, they are given a certificate good for 30 days to get their free exam(s). What an excellent service with no strings attached, just pure charity and a desire by the hospital professionals to share their skills, facilities, and knowledge, while keeping the name of the hospital, “Good Samaritan,” relevant.


Running participants can’t help being reminded of the parable of the ‘good Samaritan.’ In the parable, the Savior said that a man was traveling to another city. On the road, he was attacked by bandits. They stole his clothes and money and beat him half dead. A priest came along, saw him, crossed to the other side of the road, and passed him by. Then a temple attendant walked over, looked at him, and went on. However, a Samaritan, who was despised by the Jews, came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion. Kneeling beside him, the Good Samaritan bandaged his wounds and took him on a donkey to an inn. He paid the innkeeper to take care of the man until he recovered.


Jesus taught that we should give food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, facilitate peace in the middle of a personal conflict, comfort to the sick, and clothes to the naked. It is as if we were doing these things to Him instead. He taught us to get into the middle of problems between people and become peacemakers, just like the Good Samaritan did in the parable.


It is so easy to look the other way or say,” I don’t have time to get involved,” "don’t drag me into this!” or “I don’t want to get in the middle of your mess” when one sees suffering from a conflict, misunderstanding, heavy burden, hurt feeling, and frustration between people. Why get waded in and help when you can just look the other way like Priest and Temple Worker did when they saw the beaten and wounded man on the roadside? Why stick your nose in someone else’s business that needs help when you can rationalize you’re not getting involved by saying, “They made their bed, let them lay in it”?


Thirty-seven years ago, I opened a Counseling Center in San Juan Capistrano, California, that was free to the public if they would be honest with themselves and follow through with agreed-upon behavioral changes. Since 1985, as a certified family counselor in the states of California and Utah, I have assisted over 3,500 people who have suffered minor and serious problems, challenges, conflicts, hurt feelings, drugs, alcohol, abuses, depression, burdens, and other emotional challenges. In Sept of 1992, I opened a counseling center in Provo, Utah; in 1994, a center in St. George, Utah; and in March 1999, a center in Midway, Utah.


When people come to me and share their burdens, be it weight problems, infidelity, drugs, teens/family, etc., it would be much easier and less time-consuming to just say to them, “I really don’t want to be dragged into your problems.” However, if burdens will be lifted off weary shoulders, we, like the Good Samaritan, must get involved when the need arises.


Recently, I was trying to mediate between a father and a daughter, who had become at odds with each other over something that was said but taken wrong and unintentionally caused hurt feelings. I tried to bring the two parties together, but the only thing I could pull from the daughter was, “This really goes deep.” I solicited the assistance of the daughter’s husband to help be a massager/peacemaker because he had a good relationship with his wife and his father-in-law and cared deeply for both of them. However, I was shocked when the husband told me, “I understand the frustrations of my father-in-law and my wife, but I really don’t want to get into the middle of this issue.” So here is a perfect example of someone who has both the skills and opportunity to be a Good Samaritan but is choosing to cross to the other side of the road to avoid having to look at and assist the wounded members of his extended family. These wounds, even though not physical, are just as painful and cause just as much damage as if they had been inflicted by a knife. The real irony is all three profess to be Christians and follow the example set by the author of the Good Samaritan Parable. I won’t give up on these three and hope and trust I will be able to broker reconciliation between father, daughter, and son-in-law.

A few years ago, I saw a young boy about nine years old going from garbage can to garbage can looking for food. I was heartsick- I have grandchildren this age, and I thought this was terrible. Homeless children in that city number over 10,000 and with no assistance of any kind being offered from the local or federal government of this South American country. The idea came to mind if we could help this boy by having a home where he could have food, shelter, education, love, and teach him a saleable skill, this little boy would never have to rummage through the garbage cans for food ever again. The temptation was very strong to move on and let this city take care of its young citizens because I had a very full plate with Hope Projects in over 175 villages. This boy needed to be in an orphanage, but there was no room for him in the existing facilities. The only answer I could think of was, what would the Good Samaritan do? He would have found some land nearby and built an orphanage when this young lad and many like him would have an opportunity to live, learn, and be loved. We at Hope Projects have decided to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and build our own orphanage in a little village about 100 kilometers outside of Cusco, Peru. The first phase of our Hope Projects, “Good Samaritan Orphanage,” will house 64 children ages 4 to 16.


The groundbreaking and construction began on April 10, 2022, and will be completed by December 2023. Phase II to V will allow our orphanage to expand and accommodate over 320 children ages 1 day to 18 years old and 150 girls ages 11 to 17 years old for our Big Girls Orphanage for girls who have been rescued victims of trafficking and kidnappings.


We need people to be Good Samaritans and help support housing expenses and care for these orphans. We have generated enough money to construct phase I of the Hope Projects’ Good Samaritan Orphanage, but we now need people to donate money to pay for the care and education needs of these 64 children. Only $50 dollars a month will pay the total expenses for one child. Please look into your Good Samaritan heart and agree to support one orphan for $50/month, or $25 to share the support with another donor, or even $12.50 with three other donors.

Please don’t look the other way and say I don’t want to get involved or cross the street to the other side like the Priest and the Temple Worker, but be like the professionals at “The Good Sam Hospital” in San Jose and get involved and share what you have with the orphans and homeless street children of the high Andes. Log onto our website at www.homeprojects.com and see all of the various projects that we are doing at Home Project. Send your checks to Hope Projects at 717 Bigler Lane, Midway, Utah 84049, or phone 801 830-8812, and Nancy will help you pay with your credit card or assist you using PayPal.

From Oct. 4th to December 31 all donations will be matched dollar for dollar by the Simons Says Foundation: Hope Projects Board of Directors. Many during the holiday season select a project from our gift catalog of projects found on our website to give as a gift in honor of their favorite someone for that special holiday.


Thank you in advance for your support in helping the poor help themselves out of poverty. May you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and a happy new year.


Jerry and Ella Simons


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