Sunday, October 16, 2011

World Vision

About a year ago, I was introduced to the book, The Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, through a blog reading challenge.  I cannot tell you what blog it was from as I was linking around (probably when I should have been doing something more productive around the house).  I wish I could link you to the challenge....I was moved by the post.  I left a comment saying I would read it and see what happens.  I was intrigued after reading the premise of the book:  "This is a story of how a CEO faced his own struggle to obey God, whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Believing that the “good news” is more than a private transaction between God and us, Stearns challenges readers with this question: What does God expect of us? Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again."  I was told it would probably change my life.  I ordered it on ebay and started to read it as time allowed.  To be honest, I still haven't finished it...but it has truly impacted my life.  Wow, what an amazing book and even though I didn't finish it yet, there are a few things that I think of every time I see the book sitting by my bed.  I think of how our world looks at helping others defined by politics.  (I'm not willing to get into a political argument so I will just leave it at that.)  It is not about being a democrat or a republican.  It is about being a human--and for me a Christian--and how I believe we are responsible for helping other people.  I also believe how we choose to do that is by God's will and the talents He has given us.  Sometimes God seeks us out more than we are willing to admit.  I think Richard Stearns is a perfect example with his book A Hole In Our Gospel and God's calling of him to work at World Vision.  I thought that his journey was truly inspiring and moved to learn more about World Vision--and then my life kind of got in the way...you know, three kids aged 5 and under...financial responsibilities....laundry....diapers....work....bills....etc.  

Fast Forward:
This past Friday, we went to the Third Day concert!  We bought tickets way back in June when we were at the Joyful Noise Family Fest sponsored by KTIS.  We got tickets for that through Living Social and our family of 5 was able to go for just $37!  They were selling Third Day concert tickets there and my husband splurged since the concert was on my birthday.  When we walked in the church that was hosting the concert, the first thing I saw was a huge World Vision banner and I kind of started to hyperventilate.  I don't know why.  We went right to the table.  I thought, you are kidding me, I've been wanting to know more about World Vision and had kind of forgotten about my quest, you know, with life, and here we were and there they were.  I should have finished reading my book! :0)  

They started talking to us about their program.  I was already feeling overwhelmed as we have been trying to clear out stuff and clutter from our house.  Dressers full of clothes, toys, stuff, stuff and more stuff.  We have so much stuff!  I have already donated so much stuff to fundraiser garage sales, charities, and friends, and we still have so much stuff.  My mother and I had been sorting all day in between 'life' and I was still feeling like we hadn't made much progress--and still thinking about it on the way to the concert--so much stuff.  And then I look at this table full of children's photos--knowing that they pretty much don't have anything.  And not only do they have hardly anything, they probably don't even have clean healthy water to drink or food to eat on a regular basis or medical care or access to medicines they need or school or supplies for school.  I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry.  How is it that I can have so much stuff and they have nothing?  And probably not a whole lot of opportunity to change that.  I don't think everyone in our country completely understands what it means to not have opportunity.  There are plenty of people willing to do what it takes to 'make it'.  Sometimes they just need a little help to get to the starting gate.  (And maybe sometimes a little help to the finish line too!)   It was as if God had led me to World Vision at the moment I needed to be there.  I am humble and I know that I cannot change the world....but thanks to World Vision, I believe I can change one person's world.  My husband let me pick out the child that our family will be sponsoring and I am excited to be on this new journey.  We are just an ordinary family with an ordinary income and I will gladly pass on some of the things our culture has deemed as ordinary so that one child or family can have something we take for granted.  I challenge you too...

Just check out the book....The Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns.  It may change your life too.  Just look what it has done for me, and I haven't even finished reading it yet! :0)  

5 comments:

Shauna said...

Jodi, we have sponsored a child from Bangladash for about 2 years. Then when my credit card was expiring, I just never got them the new # - not intentional - just life, busy, never took the time. We were talking in Sunday School this morning about some of the same stuff. I am going to get ours renewed very soon! The kids loved drawing our child pictures, we prayed for her and her family. It is an amazing thing to do!! I wish my kids could really see more of what our sponsored child's life is truly like on a daily basis; but they get it a little bit. I am glad when they ask at the store if we can get something to send to her :) Just imagine what a difference it would make in our world if every Christian did just ONE thing for someone in need - sponsor a World Vision child, support foster care, volunteer at a food mission, etc. We take SO much for granted (me and my family included)!!

Stacie said...

Hi, Jodi! You've won the box of craft supplies on my blog The Amazing Mess. If you can send me an email with your info, I can send it to you!! stacie at amazingmess dot com!

Thanks!

dave said...

You know, the Marine Corp has some strong ethics and some of them which make my studies in scripture often slow. For example, no forgiveness no mercy, and never say your sorry. Couple these to a sacrifice of bloodshed then there is forgiveness; however, maybe they want peace. A further explanation would be Hebrews 9:22 clarifies: "without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness". Who believes in no mercy?

dave said...

/|\ settled in the hearts of men, and men rest in /|\

Holly said...

Sounds interesting!