Tag Archives: humanitarian

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.

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Have you forgotten?

Happy Wednesday! As this weeks chugs slowly towards the weekend (which I’m convinced is because it’s a 3 day weekend and I’m just very excited!) my mind keeps drifting, especially in the slower moments, towards the compassion and concern in my heart for the ongoing devastation in Nepal. The news has gone pretty silent with coverage, but it doesn’t mean the need has gone away. So I hope you’ll join me for a few minutes in bringing our awareness back to them and a few easy but VERY impactful ways you can help.

I think this quote from the book Awake by Noel Yeatts is a really powerful connection between compassion and action.

“Compassion is not pity. It is not simply feeling sorry for someone. It is not sadness or an emotion that we feel.

Most dictionaries define compassion as the awareness of need and the wish to alleviate it. I would take it a step further. True compassion—the compassion that Jesus had in the Bible when He was ‘moved with compassion’ (Mark 1:41 NASB)—is more than awareness and a wish. This kind of compassion requires movement, advocacy, and action.”

If you choose to make a direct donation, there are many relief organizations that are providing ongoing and immediate assistance in every way possible. World Help is one of these, and you can see more about how your donation could help here.

You can also read here about 4 Ways to Help and what life looks like on the ground in Nepal after the earthquake on April 25th and then the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that followed last week. More than 8,000 people are dead and that number is expected to continue to rise, and over 500,000 people are now homeless. But God is at work. Networks of help are in place and hope is rising from the rubble. We just need to be a part of that after the news headlines have turned to something new.

Nepal Disaster Relief - World HelpWorld Help - Nepal ReliefYou can PRAY, you can GIVE, you can ADVOCATE, and you can FUNDRAISE. Imagine how the Nepali people will be strengthened if we all chose even just one of these ways to make sure they aren’t forgotten in their suffering. That we are pouring out compassion. That we are taking action.

Hope for Nepal - World Help

I’m also committed to donating ALL of my commissions this month (25% of every dollar spent) on all purchases through my Stella & Dot eBoutique — an easy way to multi-task your shopping and support the relief efforts! If you want my suggestion of a meaningful gift for yourself or a friend, pick up this Interlock Cross necklace (sterling silver or gold plated) — it’s one of my favorites and a piece I wear every single day.

Nepal Earthquake_7 Nepal Earthquake_11