It sounds so far away - world poverty. And living in America, it is far away. From our hearts. From our thoughts. From our lifestyle.
But lately, all I can think about is the suffering of people around the world. Of children, like my beautiful Little Miss, dying from starvation.. all I can see is their faces and their pain.
I watched a movie yesterday, while I was sick, about a woman who does relief work in another country and I cried for the children around the world who need what I have to give. I watched a movie about WWII and I cried over the atrocities that were committed against mankind and continue to be committed all over the world under different banners... I read a book about the calling of Christ and what it means to be Christ-like called Radical and I was ready to sell everything and GO before I even finished reading... I read a blog about famine in southern Somalia and knew that I cannot ignore the world's needs any longer... I read a blog about apathy in the American middle class and I cried about how easy it is to ignore the suffering of the world when we have SO much....
I read about a girl who is younger than I am by years and has adopted 13 children and lives with them in Uganda. She not only cares for these children of hers, but she feeds 1,600 children from the community each week. She started a program for women to help them sell necklaces to the US. She provides medical services to the community each week with other volunteers who have joined with her over the past few years. She started a program that sponsors 400 children's education... God is literally changing the community of Masese because of her faithfulness and her willingness to serve. And she is only 23 years old... (amazima.org)
And I sit here in my four bedroom home with more stuff than I need and my very American middle class life and I no longer wonder - I know - that I am missing out on the calling of Christ. I serve my friends. I serve my neighbors. I'm minorly involved at my church. I love people. I seek peace. I read my bible. I pray. I tithe. I support international relief organizations. But my faith is dead because my works mean nothing because I won't go and God has called us to go. My faith is dead because Christ has made it clear that his followers do not accept a mamby-pamby watered down version of Christianity - they take up the cross and they follow Christ to the hungry and the sick and the needy and the orphans and the widows. They suffer for Him. They die for Him. They give up their family for Him. They give up their friends. They give up their desires. They give up their homes. Their comfort. Their pride.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."