“He has shown you, O Mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8
In recent years, I’ve come to realize that the excess and extravagance of American culture is not as much an asset to my life as it is a spiritual liability. My comfort and convenience are so ingrained as rights that I all too easily turn a blind eye to the injustice, poverty, and crisis that swirl around me. It’s more comfortable when I DON’T know about it. It’s more convenient when I DON’T FEEL the burden to alleviate it. If these folks really ARE my brothers and sisters as the Bible teaches me, I have to confront the question:
Would I stand for that lifestyle if it were my sister, brother, niece, or nephews living in it? Would it be good enough for them?
Of course not. The next logical step is then: What in the world do I do about it? Ignorance is no longer an option. The blinders of our culture have been removed and I’m left to step forward and do the work that lies before me. I genuinely believe that most of us truly desire in our hearts to be a part of something that is good, but we just need some direction in how to plug into an existing system since the problems are far too large for an individual to tackle alone. In the years I’ve spent wresting with these questions, I’ve found some amazing organizations working tirelessly to bring the honor, opportunity, and justice I’d love to be on the ground working towards myself. My Top 5 Organizations with “boots on the ground” making a real, positive difference in this world are:
Samaritan’s Purse is the real deal, y’all. They have partnerships around the globe that meet immediate needs after natural disasters, dig fresh water wells, support refugees, give shoebox gifts to millions of children for Christmas, perform life saving surgeries for heart patients, and so much more. Their website and gift catalog are a huge part of our family’s Christmas every year. Did you know that $9 can feed a hungry baby for a week, that $15 can teach a child to read and write, or that $70 can buy a dairy goat that can sustain a family for it’s lifetime of milk? Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground in Iraq with the ISIS refugees, is in the US following through on hurricane and flood relief projects, and supports wounded soldiers and their families through Operation Heal our Patriots. I am only scratching the surface of their ministry here. If I had a million dollars I would give it all to them.
Did you know that Poverty is a lying, nasty, evil jerk? Did you know that? Do you know how hard it is to break free from this big fat jerk-face when you have to quit school to go to work to help support your family? The mission of Compassion International is “Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”. How do they do it? They set up child centers in vulnerable areas all over the world. These centers provide hygiene training, after school tutoring, life skills classes, and connections with SPONSORS. Once a child is sponsored a life long relationship begins. The family’s economic uncertainty is alleviated for $38 dollars a month. Letters are exchanged between children and their sponsors and the sponsors have a chance to speak truth and encouragement and love into their child’s life to tell that big fat jerk-face Poverty that he can sit on a tack! Incidentally, Compassion’s program was studied independently for it’s long term efficacy under a pseudonym. They were willing to be scrutinized because they were also curious. Their results were so overwhelmingly positive and LIFE CHANGING that they said, “Um, can you put our real name back in the study when you publish it?” I love Compassion with my whole heart.
“Rescue Thousands. Protect Millions. Prove that justice for the poor is possible.” International Justice Mission is in this fight for the long haul. I love reading their updates and seeing their work because not only do they rescue people from slavery and sex trafficking, but they also PROSECUTE THEIR PIMPS/OWNERS through the court system. It often takes YEARS. They keep fighting the good fight and receive justice for the poor. Glory!!
Noonday Collection uses fashion and design to create meaningful opportunities around the world. By connecting talented artisan partners in vulnerable areas of the world with a marketplace in our communities here, Noonday is creating a new model for fair trade business where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs, and we are connected. Noonday has taught me that there are people on the other side of my purchases. Think about that for a minute. I believe in this company so much I am an ambassador for them! The products are all hand-made, beautiful, meaningful and fun! Once you’ve been bitten by the Noonday bug, you’ll keep coming back for more!
Prison Fellowship was started by Chuck Colson after he spent time in prison for his role in President Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Prisoners need the hope of the Gospel and the life changing transformation that only Christ can provide. My favorite program is Angel Tree. It allows prisoners to sign up for Christmas gifts that are delivered to their children as coming from the incarcerated parent. They aren’t forgotten (neither the parents nor the children!). They are loved and valuable and near to the heart of God. In Matthew 25 Jesus specifically mentions those in prison as “the least of these”. There’s no doubt where He stands on that. Prison Fellowship carries the torch for these often forgotten folks. I’m so glad.
Thanks for reading!
Hi all! It's Meghan here. Now that you've been formally introduced to each writing staff member with last month's storied series, I wanted to give each writer the full palette this month with this new series entitled: OUR BEST FIVE.
I'm taking a minute at the conclusion of each post to shed some light on just exactly what makes each writing staff member a wonderful part of meghancobble.com. Check out the goodness and strength that Sarah brings to this online team from my heart in the image below. Her favorite jelly bean is Jelly Belly's strawberry jam. Head on over to the shop and nab a bag o' writers to grab yourself some writing inspiration. Words are most certainly worth it.
why sarah rocks
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Not Socially Awkward
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