The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Bruce Feiler


Author, You First, Me Second: Getting to the Heart of Social Responsibility(Charisma Media, 2013

Vice President of Procurement and Corporate Relations for Operation Blessing International since 1995

B.S. in Education from Howard Payne University

Masters in Education from Regent University



Be The Answer to Someone's Prayers

For almost eighteen years, Pam Erickson has been able to do the work that she is most passionate about - being able to provide resources to the poor and less fortunate.  Since she started working with Operation Blessing (OB) in 1995, the organization has procured 1 billion pounds of donated product (food, medicines, and relief supplies) with an estimated value of over $2 billion.   She also initiated OB’s first Gifts-In-Kind (GIK) program, which has become a successful gift acquisition program yielding an average of 100,000,000 pounds of donated products each year. 
Pam says we all have the capacity to care for others and act on it because that’s how God created us.  We already have all the tools necessary to have a positive impact on the world around us.  All we need to do is discover our true passions, catch a vision for the ways we can use them to be an answer to someone else’s prayer, and work out a doable plan for getting involved.

Living out how God created us through acts of kindness is what Pam calls compassion ministry.  The parable of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10 is an example of compassion ministry.  When a Samaritan man found another man beaten and robbed on the roadside, the Samaritan man took care of him by getting him clothing, food, care, and a place to stay.  This is how God calls us to love our neighbor.  Pam breaks it down to three “A’s”:  1) Alert – be aware of your surroundings, look around you and see the need 2) Available – be available to help or do whatever needs to be done 3) Action – with whatever resources you can contribute, meet that need.

Pam says being inspirational is one of the traits in a “you first, me second” person.  When your stories about serving others include your own firsthand experiences, those stories will have an even greater impact on the listener.    Being able to share this kind of depth and insight through your personal accounts can truly be inspirational to others.  If you allow yourself to become immersed in the lives of those who are being crushed by circumstances often beyond their control, you will be inspired by their stories.  Their stories then become yours to tell again and again, and each time you share them, you will inspire someone new. 

Pam’s new book You First, Me Second: Getting to the Heart of Social Responsibility helps people find their strengths and how to use them to help others.  The book contains real-life stories of people who have changed their communities.

 An inspiration to Pam is Pastor Lee and his weekly feeding program in the Appalachian foothills.   Pam attended one of Pastor Lee’s dinners where more than one hundred people were fed.  She observed that the families that arrived were greeted at the door with handshakes and hugs.  Throughout the meal, she noticed that Pastor Lee treated each person as an honored guest.  After one group was finished dining, the table cloths were changed for the next group of guests.  This small act gave the recipients the message that they were valuable. 

Pam says this world needs more connectors who can intervene with an understanding heart and provide wise counsel.  Connectors are gifted in being able to relate to people who are in need.  Also, Connectors are perceptive, sharp, and insightful and can create solutions for reaching out to people without injuring their esteem or intruding on their privacy.    

Pam recalls a summer reading program she was a part of in one of the poorest areas of town which included a boy named Leroy.  He did not want to be there and did everything he could to get out of the program.  He kept testing Pam, but she always responded to him with love and tried to find ways to connect with him.  At end of each day, Pam gave hugs to kids.  She would give a special hug to Leroy even if he didn’t want one.  One afternoon at the end of class, Leroy asked for a hug.  Pam gave him a big hug and told Leroy she loved him.  He told Pam he loved her too and he apologized for misbehaving.   Pam could tell that there was a change in Leroy because she reached out to him.

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