~if you are new to milestones & memories, each monday i do a post that updates you on how we are doing at accomplishing our family goals/milestones. here's a complete list if you are interested. thanks for stopping by~"do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."
milestone monday--helping the poor and orphaned:
wow, what a HUGE milestone/dream/hope! i obviously know that realistically, i am only one person and won't be able to solve any major world issues, but this quote (above) helps me to not become overwhelmed with the vastness of poverty and suffering and focus on what i can learn, how i can care, and what i can do to help forward the Kingdom and fulfill the "whole gospel."
what i can learn:
i'm currently reading the book pictured above, "the hole in our gospel" by richard stearns (the president of World Vision). the book highlights biblical truths about how God calls us, as believers, to embrace His people all over the world, including the poor and fatherless in particular. stearns points out how we, in the US especially, live in a bubble where we are clueless about the reality of how so many people in the world live on less than $2.00 a day. and when it comes down to it,.......
we don't really want to know.
we don't really want to see.
we don't really want to acknowledge.
i have to admit, as shameful as it is, that was me for most of my life. until recently.....i basically have tried to not look at what i know is there.....hurting people, devastation, war, pain, crying and unloved babies, abuse, poverty.....my life is cushiony and comfortable and i like it that way. this painful picture of the world is "depressing" and "overwhelming" and "not fun." but the Lord is teaching me, that my first step to helping is to be open to learning about the needs of others. now, i am praying that "God will break my heart for the things that break His."
(if you'd like the free study guides/synopsis that goes along with the book, click here)
how i can care:
with so much pain, it is easy to become numb to it all and simply become hardened to the needs of the poor and orphaned. God is bringing me to a point where i want to hear the statistics, see the faces, and pay attention to the stories.......i find myself getting choked up at stories of adoption (watch this, you won't be disappointed you did), my heart is moved when seeing those children's faces, and wondering about each person's suffering. i can feel a change in my heart and am praying for even more.
what i can do:
1. pray.....the easiest thing i can do is pray for the hurting people in my neighborhood, my city, my country, and around the world.
2. i can also give......here is a great resource for ways to provide for tangible and immediate needs. i am challenging our family to do one of them each month for the rest of this year---starting with #3 Hunger.
**a cool gift idea is to give a specific donation (through World Vision's gift catalog) for somebody's birthday, valentine's, or christmas gift. i got jon "2 chickens" as a donation for part of his birthday gift this year.
3. and donate time........our family is excited to be joining the rest of our church family to provide and package just under 150,000 meals in one day to hungry children in africa. it's so exciting to see so many of God's people come together for one common purpose and for His glory. it's only a two hour shift, and that time will be much better spent than my usual saturday morning routine of pancakes and tv.
now, after saying all of this....please believe me when i tell you that i am just starting my journey in realizing and acting upon what it is that God calls us all to do concerning the poor and orphaned and i, by no means, think i have anything figured out. i also, in no way, believe that through doing good works alone i will somehow "earn my way" to heaven. i believe that is only possible through the grace of God and through a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and it is through Him and Him alone that I have been forgiven of sin and can spend eternity in His presence. i'm writing this mostly to keep record of where i'm starting and to encourage us all to begin thinking about this topic a bit differently than perhaps we have before.
may i suggest continuing to think about this topic by listening to andy stanley's message entitled "one, not everyone" (and by reading the book! :)).
do you have a suggestion for something my family and i could be doing to "defend and uphold the poor and orphaned"? if so, leave a comment and let's keep moving on this journey together!