Tag Archives: christian relief

How we can help bring hope

While I was traveling in Europe a few weeks ago, it was nearly impossible to escape the news stories about the refugee crisis. The initial reaction I had was “this is so overwhelming!”. It seems like an insurmountable situation. It is hard to imagine that there will be enough resources to meet the vast needs. But then a story would arise of people taking in migrant families, or people meeting them on the streets with diapers and clothes. These people are fleeing unspeakable evil and for all they know, it won’t be over even after they cross the many borders to the places they are trying to seek refuge. I have been reading “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller the last few days and was struck by his explanation of hidden idols outside of our hearts – these are the idols of our culture and society. He quotes an American theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr who wrote about the corporate egos of entire nations and the idolatrous power of pride and prosperity. When we let our national pride and striving for prosperity become so important in our lives that it is an idol, something we put before God, then it leads us so far from God’s call. So when I ponder why European countries and America have such a trepidation about openly accepting these people who need our help, it stands to reason that our fears that we will lose our national identities or the security of our lifestyles are what makes us want to push this off as someone else’s problem and hope that our lives won’t be effected.

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We can sit around and hope that politicians and governments will solve the problem, but we need to realize that this is a humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the Middle East, many on the run for a year or longer, and they lack basic resources. The majority are women and children, and most are Christians. Thankfully there are organizations like World Help who are set up in key areas to help provide food, water, shelter, and basic medical care. As they leave their homes and jobs to try to avoid death or capture, most having witnessed horrific and traumatizing events, they are starting to lose their hope along with their dignity. As Vernon Brewer wrote

I cannot relate to being brutally persecuted for my faith. I won’t even pretend to know the kind of suffering they endure. But as the body of Christ, we are all part of the same family.

If one part hurts, we all hurt. This is a sign of solidarity…of unity…of hope in a God who is strong enough to comfort and protect His people.

It reminds me to pray. It reminds me to trust. It reminds me that I cannot afford to be complacent in my faith when my brothers and sisters are dying for theirs… When people are dying you don’t need to ask more questions or weigh the cost of inconvenience — you simply need to help

Even if we can’t understand the massive struggles these people face, we can’t be complacent and hope someone else will act.

I strongly encourage you to check out the various ways in which you can be part of returning hope. Prayer is a vital component of this.

And also read some of the stories to better understand just how dire this is:
Defeating ISIS with the word of God

Fleeing ISIS: One Woman’s Firsthand Account

The Christian story is one of hope. We share the Gospel when we are bearers of hope. When we restore hope to the hopeless. By being the hands and feet of Jesus, lives can be changed and the impact is eternal.

3/22 is World Water Day!

Maybe you already know that today is World Water Day, and maybe this is the first you are hearing of it, but I hope you’ll join me on a little virtual journey to a village in Africa where their awareness of water isn’t limited to a special day, or a few times a year, but every single day. A blessing that is so easy for us to enjoy without any real thought, is the difference between life and death for so much of the world’s population.

If you have read some of my recent blog posts since the holidays or follow me on Facebook you know how my heart beats for this area of need in God’s kingdom. (I can’t thank all of you enough for your support in prayers and donations to help me donate my birthday to clean water last month.) We turned to this scripture in church this morning (Matthew 12:34) and I have been praying all week about what this blog post would look like, and this verse reassured me that whatever words I chose to write would be coming from the full heart I have for the urgent need for clean water – especially as it is directly linked to poverty.

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So now let’s take that virtual trip — to Kirinda, Uganda. You can read more about Silvano here — his story is a beautiful example of how our financial support can change the course of lives for the better. And most importantly, how a small portion of our abundant blessings saves lives, sets us on a course to eliminate extreme poverty in our lifetime, and how we answer God’s call with our obedience to care for those with the least.

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Look at these statistics of Uganda:

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1 in 9 people in the world lack clean water, 2,200 children die every day from water-related illnesses.

For children like 15 year old Silvano, there is a daily struggle between attending school as a path to trying to make dreams for a prosperous future a reality and standing in long lines to wait for water that will inevitably cause short term and/or long term illnesses that will perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Imagine how different your life would look without a reliable source of clean water. It’s hard, isn’t it? To really fathom life without something we just expect. Just like we expect a chair to support us when we sit or that we’ll wake up tomorrow, we also expect our water to quench our thirst, be refreshing, and most of all be safe.

What if this was in your glass? It’s what Silvano and his village have to drink.

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I ask you to join me in prayer, in awareness, and hopefully in finding whatever amount of financial support you can share. The best news is that we can cause change. We can break the cycle. We can prevent needless tragic death. The challenge is to choose to do so. This year for World Water Day, World Help is hoping to raise enough funds to provide this community with a comprehensive, multi-faceted, clean water system that will connect key locations like the school, clinic, church, and market. This will be an answer to prayer for over 2000 people. Check out more info here

I want to leave you with these powerful words from Amy Grant that I came upon in a book I’ve been reading this week.

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