When I Was Hungry, You Fed Me…

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of our first mission projects in our student ministry was the Rwanda Clean Water Project back in 2007. I heard of the need at a conference and learned that villagers were drinking the same water they used the facilities and bathed in. Men, women, and especially children were needlessly dying of water-borne diseases that could easily be prevented by digging a $3,000 well so they would have access to clean water. Our approach was a palette of 1,500 bottles of water with our student ministry logo printed on them to be sold for $2 each. When we sold them all, we would send the check.

We also printed 5,000 promo cards that explained what we were doing and why we were doing it to help get the word out. As one of our students was buying a coke one Sunday morning, I encouraged him to consider getting a water to help the Rwandan people and handed him the card.

He replied, “I’m not reading that. If I read it, then I have to care.”

Since then, I have made a concerted effort to challenge this non-Christ-like thinking in our ministry… starting with me. I was just as guilty as this teenager in my approach to the needs of this world. If I don’t know about it, then I’m not responsible for it. How could God hold me accountable for something that I didn’t know?

However, ignorance does not provide us with the exemption we think it does.

This change has allowed me to see the world as Christ does. It has forced me to take a close look at how I spend my money and who I spend it on. I now see resources as a means to a Gospel-centered end. I am okay if the money that I earn does not bring me the comfort or satisfaction that I feel entitled to, but someone else.

Each day, I am becoming increasingly aware of the poverty that truly exists in our world. Currently, the drought in Kenya is one of the worst they have ever had. It is so bad that women tie rope around their waists to mask hunger pain because there is so little food. An 86-year old grandmother said,

“Most of the time we have very little food, so I give it to my grandchildren first, leaving little or nothing for me. That is why I tie this rope around me. Only the rich people around here don’t tie a rope in times like this. This is one of the worst droughts I have ever seen in my life.”

Read about the practice of tying here.

Right now, I sit here at my desk full from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and banana I just ate. I have never known hunger to that degree, and yet it is a way of life for the majority of our world. Most people don’t live like those of you who are reading this post right now.

But what can you do about it?

Take some time… pray through the needs you become aware of… ask God to show you what He wants you to do. That is how you begin to raise the risk, but sadly, most people get stumped on the Invite God step. Once you have done that – obey His command. Do something about it.

Risk something.

Raise the Risk Challenge:

(1) What have you found in your research concerning the poverty that exists in our world starting in your own neighborhood?

(2) After inviting God to show you how His solution includes you, what did he say? If you are having trouble here, fast along with your prayers.

(3) General Schwarzkopf said, “The truth of the matter is you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” Now that you know what God requires of you, create an action plan and begin doing something with the resources God has entrusted to you.

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