Aug 26 2013

A Tale of Two Children

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog, I hope that it encourages you to fulfill the call that God puts on each of our lives to make a difference for others.  I think many times, as human beings, we treat our faith like a buffet, where we pick and choose what we want to fill our plate.  The truth is Christianity doesn’t work like that, Christianity isn’t a buffet line; you cannot have an encounter with Jesus and stay the same.  Granted, we aren’t redeemed by our “works”, but rather our redemption is motivation for “doing the work” that Christ calls us to.  The book of James cuts to the chase by saying: 

“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? 

Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?   I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”  Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.  The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.”… Faith without works is DEAD!  

In the past couple of days we have met two very sweet boys, with two very different stories.  They only live a few minutes walk from each other, and they both have to crawl across heaps of garbage to get to school. But Top Raj, thanks to Gene, a K-LOVE listener from Chicago, has a sponsor, and he is receiving the help that his family desperately needs.

 Sponsorships like Gene’s means Top Raj and his family can dream about his future, Top Raj wants to be a policeman because he wants to help the people he sees hurting in his community, dreams that probably wouldn’t be realized without Gene’s help.

Gene’s love and concern for Top Raj, through World Vision child sponsorship, means that he can break the cycle of poverty in his family.  I called Gene before we went and visited Top Raj, and he shared that he wanted him to know that he was praying for him. I shared that with Top Raj and his family and they just lit up!  Your encouragement to these families and kids means so much, if you already sponsor a child, please take some time this week to write.  Top Raj and his family had a hard time expressing just how grateful they were for how Gene has helped change their family’s life.  There are 600 more kids in this slum alone just waiting for you to step up and “be their Gene.”  These children need you!  

Then there is Kunel, a sweet, nine year old little boy, who has had a very difficult life.  Kunel is currently living with his elderly grandparents; his grandfather is too ill to work, his grandmother, makes less than $2/day, and works long hours.  The reason that Kunel is living with grandma and grandpa is because his mother abandon him and his father, Kunel’s father was so distraught, that he took his own life.  

So not only is Kunel faced with the depths of poverty, he is facing it without his mom and dad.  He is the kindest little boy, with a smile that lights up the room.  He told me that he wanted to play video games someday, well no time like the present, we sat down on the steps of his family’s one room home, because they have no furniture, and I introduced him to Angry Birds. Sitting there, laughing with him, reminded me of those days with my own children.  

That’s what sponsorship does, it allows you to invite a child to be a part of your family, to love them, as if they were your own.  His grandmother with tears rolling down her face, expressed deep concern for Kunel, she said, “I am worried about what will happen to him when I am gone.”  My heart just broke for her and for this sweet little boy, who has already been through so much.  I was fully prepared to ask you to step up and sponsor Kunel, but God has so burdened my heart, that I just couldn’t wait.  We are going to sponsor Kunel, we are going to love and pray for him like he were our own child.  I want his grandmother to rest peacefully, knowing that he is going to be OK and the God has a plan for Kunel’s life.  


Please join my family and Gene’s family in bringing hope to kids like Kunel and Top Raj!  There is a child who needs your help today, a child who is waiting for you to make them apart of your family. 250 different times, the Bible talks about the importance of caring for orphans and the poor, this is your chance to put “your faith to work”.  Help us show Love Around The World by sponsoring a child today!

Aug 23 2013

Christmas Creep, Is It Too Early?

You may have seen it... it’s called the "Christmas Creep" - stores that are fully decked out for Christmas with about 4 months left before the holiday season. If it's not bad enough, I was at our local mall in July and there was a full on window display with Santa, candles, mistletoe, and it said "start your wish list now." I had to take a picture of it because I could not believe that was out.. in July!

When experts were consulted on this, they said retailers fear that if they don't start now, they are going to lose out to other stores for the Christmas season.

I am a Christmas fanatic by far, it's my favorite time of the year but can we wait to put the Christmas stuff in the stores until the pool toys have been stored away?

Aug 23 2013

It's Not a Matter of How, but How Not?

Have you ever seen something that you will NEVER be able to ‘unsee’?  That is exactly what I have experienced in India.  My emotions are completely raw, I have just seen the worst poverty that I have ever seen in my life.

Thank you for watching the videos of our trip. If you haven’t already, they tell only part of the story. I wish there was a way for you to experience the smells of the Gatumpoori slum as you watch, it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Sadly, what we saw was not even the worst of it.  

The families, in this slum, live on less than $1/day… Let’s be honest, it’s not living, it’s merely existing… People should not live like this!  

They don’t have to, YOU can invite one of these kids to be apart of your family TODAY, these kids desperately need your help!  Right now, ONLY 200 of the 1,000 kids we are hoping to sponsor, are sponsored. 

During our visit, I had to step away from the group for a while just to pull myself together because I was an emotional wreck.  A typical family home is smaller than our smallest bedrooms, for many there is no bed, only pillows, made from whatever they can find. A hot plate to cook on, no bathroom; open sewage runs down the street, and when it rains, like it did today, the streets are flooded with raw sewage.  

People pick through the garbage to try and find anything of value and something to eat, children barely eat here, much less, go to school.  So guess what happens, the cycle of poverty continues to grow!  1/3 of the World’s poor live in India, and the problem is growing!  I would really appreciate you praying about helping World Vision change these kids’ lives… The question isn’t “How can I do that”, but rather, “How can I not?”

I was just reading Matthew 25 again today. I think most are familiar with Jesus saying that when we cared for “the least of these, the forgotten,” that it’s as if we have done it for Jesus himself… I think most of us stop right there and think to ourselves, oh that’s nice, and politely move on. You REALLY should read on! 

In this parable, Jesus was sharing, about the ‘sheep’ (those who follow Him, doing the things that He calls us to), and the ‘goats’, (those who heard the Truth, but chose to ignore it, move on) and here is what Jesus said, 

“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’

45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

46 “Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”

So the question isn’t “How can I sponsor a child?”

The question is “How can I NOT?”