I’m not really sure how to start this post. I want to write something poetic and pure – something that will tug at your heart strings and make your pulse quicken just a bit. I want to paint an image for you that will stir your soul. I’d love to give you a word picture that will cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end.
I want my words to hold just enough weight that you cannot help but jump into action.
I’m simply not that good.
“Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve; it is an opportunity to serve. As we go through each day, our heart’s cry should be, Lord, where would you have me give, serve, and invest myself to bring hope to the poor?” Johnny Carr, Orphan Justice
I read the book Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting in March, which to be quite honest was a terrible time to read that book. I was fighting depression and I sobbed like a tiny child through most of the book. It’s a wonderful book, though. I promise it is! I plan on reading it again now that I’m more emotionally stable.
Poverty is a wicked beast. It’s convoluted and tricky and there are no easy solutions to the problem of poverty. In Mark 14:7, Jesus Himself said that the poor would always be among us. As long as this world continues to rotate in its current state, poverty will be an issue among the people. So what do we do with that? If the poor will always be among us, then why even try to solve it?
First, the fight to end extreme poverty is not entirely out of reach. In fact, great strides are being met every single year. Extreme poverty is defined by the U.N. as living on less than $1.25/day. 30 years ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Today that number is estimated at only 26%. So while the poor will always be among us, the extreme poor have much to hope for.
A year and a half ago, I walked among the extreme poor. I held their hands, clapped to their songs and learned that valuable lesson that Hope is Slow. I look back at the photos and remember those days and sometimes feel so desperately trapped inside my own comforts. I want to do more. I want to help. I want my life to be so much more than plush couches, clean clothes and an overflowing pantry.
It’s a desperate thing to feel trapped.
But the chains are loosed when I remember that today, right now, I have the ability to help two. We have added a second sponsored child to our family. A little girl named Lydy from the Philippines. A few weeks ago, we received our first letter, but the letter wasn’t from Lydy. It was from her father, and his words moved both Lee and I to tears:
“We hope and pray that the Lord will continue to prosper your family as you render your good works and reach out to people for Christ…Thank you so much and may God bless you richly!”
I know I’ve already asked you to consider giving of your resources to another ministry recently. I’m asking you again, today, to consider giving. Perhaps you would like to help fund a new minivan for Mercy House Kenya. Wonderful! No gift is too small. Ten Dollars gets them one step closer to purchasing a vehicle that will allow them to transfer the girls and babies back and for to the doctor, to church, to every day errands. What a gift it would be!
Perhaps you’re ready for a longer commitment and you’d like to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I can speak without faltering when I say that the funds you give in child sponsorship are changing lives. They are building communities, ending hunger, helping eradicate extreme poverty.
Perhaps you already sponsor and would like to do a little more. Please read this post that I wrote in Tanzania about the many different ways you can be involved in Compassion International.
“Poverty is not necessarily an issue to solve; it’s an opportunity to serve.”
What a gift it is to join with a community of givers and serve. Thanks for being a part of this with me.