Monday, August 8, 2011

You can help Somalia

Dear friends,

My heart is breaking for the suffering around the world and in our own neighborhoods. The world is definitely shaking and groaning. With so much grief swirling around us, it is so easy to get caught up in two opposite responses: coming under the spirit of defeat and letting go of hope, or ignoring everything and filling our thoughts with entertainment or just the day to day concerns. But there is a higher way, a greater call. There is a God of Hope and we are His children. That means we have the capacity through Him to walk in the greatest levels of both compassion and victory--to allow the light of God to shine on us and then shine out into the shadows of this earth. 

There are countless ways to help and make a difference, and I encourage you to follow through with your own unique opportunites where your heart is pricked. 

I specifically want to plea with you to consider Somalia and the entire Horn of Africa during this drought crisis. Those of us in Texas should be able to realize the reality of drought, but imagine our discomfort and inconveniences multiplied by a million. Instead of thinking to go out and check on neighbors or homeless in our area, what if we were confronted by starving children and adults and a quarter of our population displaced from their homes? What if we had to move to a foreign country to a refugee camp bursting at the seams with over 4 times its capacity? What if we had to lead our starving family and fainting children to walk accross country fighting for survival? These are dramatic images that are easily put out of mind, but what if we could make a difference? What if one small donation could save a life? What if a sacrificial gift could pull a family up from their grave and give them hope to cling to life?

Governments have a role to play for sure, but they can be so limited by guidlelines and protocalls. Private donations can do so much to get immediate help to suffering people. 

Here is my plea to you. Would you consider one thing that you could sell, one thing to sacrifice, and use the money to sow into LIFE? By all means, if you have money and want to simply donate an amount on your heart, then do that. But many of us in this economy have our own needs and families that we are trying to provide for and may not be sure how we can give anything more. But let me encourage you that you CAN. You CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Maybe you have a bag of clothes or an old computer. Maybe you even have an old car.  Whether it is something small or something big, what a privalege it would be to let go of an earthly possession to gain life for someone we will likely never meet. How freeing would it be in a society ruled by consumerism, to make a choice to put our heart and treasure into saving lives? 

I propose that everyone finds at least one possession to sell and, in turn, sow that money into providing relief to those who are desparate for help now. Take time today to read from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7) and ask the Lord how we can live them out today.

I am in the process of researching reliable and effective ways to give. Please contact me if you are interested in giving through a trusted, reliable organization already making a difference on the ground. Or you can do your own research and give where you are led. 

PRAY: this is the vital response that all of us must be doing. There is power in prayer, and we must actively give of our energy to lift those suffering up before the Lord. Don't just say that you will be praying, PRAY. Fast, petition the Lord. And listen to what He is saying. Somalia is under Muslim control, but many refugees are fleeing to neighboring countries that are more open to the Gospel. Ask the Lord to raise up a bold witness and that many might come to know the truest and greatest freedome through Jesus Christ.