Aug 27 2013

Poverty Has Become The New Leprosy

Mother Theresa wrote, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” 

Today we met a woman named Hannah in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia who found herself just as Mother Theresa had described.  She was a widow with two young boys who not only found themselves naked, hungry and homeless, but unwanted, unloved and uncared for.  They were without hope, living in under a sheet of plastic on a street when World Vision found them and reached out to help.  

Since that day Hannah and her boys, Masfin and Yeabsira, have hope.  World Vision has helped Hannah and her boys find a home, granted, it’s made of mud, dung and straw and is smaller than the bathroom in my hotel room, but it’s a home.  Sponsorship has helped the boys enroll in school, and dream about what their future holds, Masfin, in fact, shared that he wants to be a doctor, because he wants to help take care of others.  This is a dream that now lives because someone thought Masfin was worth investing a dollar a day in!  


Clive and Martina, World Vision sponsors

Those people are Clive and Martina, his sponsors.  When I asked if he knew his sponsors, he proudly reached for a picture that was kept in a place of honor in their home with all of the other family photos.  Hannah expressed the love that they had for them, because their kindness was changing their family’s life and giving them hope!

World Vision sponsorship is much more about, “Teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime; than giving a man a fish and feeding him for the day.”  Yes, World Vision is making sure that Hannah and her boys have what they need, but they are also making it possible for the boys to do well in school.  They have provided a means to making some money by purchasing Hannah a washer and dryer so that she could start a business, which is now flourishing in her neighborhood.  The ability that Hannah now has to help provide for her family has built her self-confidence.  She and the boys are still living on less than $2 a day, but they are so grateful that the love from people like Clive and Martina, are giving them hope and dreams for the boys’ futures.

Mother Theresa, who spent her life caring of the poor and the leper, said it so well, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, Feed just ONE!”  You feeding and pouring into just ONE boy like Masfin can make a World of difference!  Clive and Martina’s love for this ONE boy, has transformed his entire family.  Their love for this ONE boy has sparked dreams of a life beyond the slums of Africa, a life lived helping those less fortunate.  Thanks for taking time TODAY to find the ONE World Vision child that you’ll invest in!  Let’s CHANGE the World, ONE Child at a time, visit http://www.worldvision.org/Love-around-the-world today!

Aug 26 2013

We Live in a Bubble

As I am writing this, I am sitting here in tears after reading another chapter from World Vision President, Rich Sterns’ new book “Unfinished” and listening to Lincoln Brewster’sThe Power of Your Name.”  I thank God that I will never be the same after this trip, and I hope that you’ll join me on this journey. Lincoln sings, “I will live to carry your compassion, to love a world that’s broken. To be your hands and feet. And I’ll give with the life that I have been given. And go beyond religion to see the world be changed…”

I have come face to face with some of the 1 billion people who will go to bed hungry tonight, that’s triple the population of the United States. Sadly, more than ¼ of the World’s 2 billion children suffer from malnutrition, but even worse is that they become victims of human trafficking, the AIDS epidemic, other pain staking diseases and for 18 million of them, they face these things all alone because they are orphans.  

The more that we have traveled on this journey to take Love Around The World, the more I am realizing what a bubble most of us live in. The thing about living in a bubble is that you can see out, you can see the need, but you’re so comfortable inside the bubble that you don’t want to anything to burst it.  Comfort can be one of the greatest enemies we face as Christians, it can render us useless to God’s plans for our lives.  

Imagine what would have happened after Jesus left, if the Disciples would have went back to being fisherman, tax collectors and Pharisees.  Instead, they realized that Jesus didn’t call us to just sit inside a church building on Sunday, sing songs and listen to a good sermon.  He called us to go to the ends of the earth, to usher in His Kingdom, a kingdom that looks different from anything else the world has ever seen.  That call may cost us dearly, as it did the disciples, but it’s the call that Christ calls each of us to answer.

The comfort that we have become accustomed to has distorted our worldview.  C.S. Lewis cautions, “Prosperity knits a man to the world, he feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.”  In Luke, Jesus issues us this caution, “Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist of an abundance of possessions.”

Rich Sterns writes in Unfinished, “How can we compensate for the distortion within our worldviews? How can we hold in one hand the truth that Jesus loves the poor, widow and orphan, yet hold in our other hand the tickets to our Disney vacation?  Disparity makes us uncomfortable, especially when we know we could do something about it.  So what does our faith do in the face of this disparity? Again, if we are to build our lives on the foundation of God’s truth, we must learn to see the world as He sees it.  Should we not weep for what He weeps for and treasure what He treasures?  Should we not “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness” rather than the kingdoms of our own making?”

Seeing human suffering always makes us uncomfortable, but we must ask ‘How does God want us to respond?’  Rich Sterns says it this way, “We, as followers of Jesus Christ, have failed to do this one thing that He commanded us to do.  We have failed to obey Christ’s commands to live radically different lives, to build and establish the kingdom of God, to make disciples of all nations and demonstrate His love to a hurting world. And in failing to do these things we have not only failed our Lord Jesus, but the lost and hurting of the World… And we have failed ourselves.  Christ did not call us to retreat from the World’s pain, but to enter it.  He called us to go. The twenty-first century Church has everything to finish the job… The resources, the knowledge and the mandate.  But the great commission given to us by Christ lies ‘Unfinished.'

Rich’s words cut straight to the heart because we find it hard denying the truth of what he says. He is right, and I will be the first to admit, that I have fallen short… I want to change!  I want to burst forth from this bubble and live a life for which the Lord can say, “Well done, good and faithful servant."

Aug 26 2013

Scott Shares About Ethiopia

I got to chat with Scott today about Ethopia. Listen as he shares about his experiences:

Find out more about Love Around The World and how you can make a difference in a child's life.

Thanks, teachers!
May 03 2011

Thanks, teachers!

Today is National Teacher Day! We love teachers and want them to know how much we appreciate all the hard work they do for our kids! Feel free to say "Thanks" to your teacher here!

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Comments (12) -

5/3/2011 1:43:00 PM
Keziah United States
Keziah
My mom is my teacher and she is the best!  She's always willing to help me when I need it.    

Thanks Mom for all you do!  
5/3/2011 1:47:52 PM
brianna United States
brianna
Both my parents are teachers my mom is 2nd grade teacher and my dad is in music. ive only had my dad and he has helped me so much but they both are wonderful teachers and i love them both!
5/3/2011 1:49:42 PM
Parker United States
Parker
To my mom, who has been my teacher for the past eight years. Thanks for giving me the best education I'll ever get. I know I'm not always thankful, grateful, or easy to teach. Thanks for sticking with me and chauffeur-ing me all over the place! I love you!
5/3/2011 1:50:00 PM
Emily Chizmark United States
Emily Chizmark
My teacher has really been an inspiration to me. I came to her and she put up with my attitude and has taken a lot of pressure off my mom sense my dad is in Pakistan. She has cleared her plans to teach me without being paid. She has taught me a lot of interesting things that i might not even know about over this year. My teacher's name is Miss Lynn Welch. I love her like she was my own mom!    
5/3/2011 2:26:12 PM
Mindy United States
Mindy
My 14 year old daughter's History teacher and yearbook advisor is an amazing teacher and human being.  For the past 3 years he has taught, nurtured, acted as a role model and befriended my daughter.  This past month my daughter has stuggled with anxiety attacks and he has been instrumental in helping her just get through one more hour. He has listened to her, helped her with coping stategies and just offered her a quiet space in his room to regroup. I don't know where my daughter would be without Adam Wellington.  He has been a Godsend to her and a blessing to all of his students.  Today I celebrate him!
5/3/2011 2:38:50 PM
Emily United States
Emily
Undoubtedly, my favorite teacher was my dad. I had him for the hardest classes I ever took (AP Chemistry, Calculus, and Physics) but I wouldnt have wanted it any other way. He patiently sat with me as I cried over my homework and practice exams. He held me to a high standard but was ready to help when I asked. The best part was seeing him live out at school the values he taught me at home.
5/3/2011 2:51:05 PM
Sammy Cathey United States
Sammy Cathey
I want to say thanks to all my old teachers at Hulstrom Options in Colorado. They made each school day something to look foward too, and everything fun to learn. Especially Mrs.Pearson, who won Colorado teacher of the Year for 2010; she deserved it!
I also want to thank my mom for homeschooling me this year, you did a great job!

5/3/2011 3:30:17 PM
alexxis United States
alexxis
I'm homeschooled so my teacher is my mom. She is the best teacher I could ever have. We use a bible based curriculum and by using that i could be in high school ( i'm only in middle school).
5/3/2011 5:00:31 PM
Hannah United States
Hannah
Thank you to all my fellow Wisconsin educators that
Continue to push on and do your best while being persecuted!!! We know we do a good job, and most often it's for the children! I pray for all the teachers that are being let go that they find comfort that God is our provider! Thank you to all educators!
5/4/2011 5:20:29 AM
Ashley Yelovich United States
Ashley Yelovich
I have a teacher that is super awesome and her name is Mrs.Vampola. I want to thank her for teaching me so many great things in 3rd grade so far.

I also have a past teacher from 2nd grade and her name is Mrs.Brooke. She was/is a SUPER teacher and I will never forget her.

So in all I would like to thank, Mrs.Vampola, Mrs.Brooke,and all my other past teachers for being such AWESOME teachers!!!!!Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

**This was 100% written by Ashley Y, age 8, Papillion, NE.  Her teachers have all been amazing so far!!**
5/4/2011 5:26:41 AM
Jacob Yelovich United States
Jacob Yelovich
Miss Anderson is a first year teacher in Papillion, NE for kindergarten.  Jake Y. says "She teaches us lots of stuff. We have lots of fun and she reads good stories."
Thank you Miss Anderson!!
GOD BLESS OUR TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS!!
5/9/2011 9:04:45 AM
Dana United States
Dana
My mother is my teacher. I'm homeschooled with my 2 sisters and 1 brother. My oldest sister is going off to college soon. Anyway, I just wanted to say, Mom your the best teacher in the world. Thanks for all you do. And Dad, thanks for being the principle. Love you guys!
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