Monday, June 4, 2012

I Am Only One

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.”  - Helen Keller quote that I heard from Lynne Hybels at The Justice Conference in Oregon.
So, what can you do?  This a question that we wrestled with through The Justice Conference.  Poverty, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, disease, orphans – it can seem so overwhelming that we just decide to ignore the plight of most of the world, because it is difficult.  We also tell ourselves that the problem is so big that there is nothing we can do.  I have been there in the past, but now know that every one of us can make a huge difference in God’s plan for his world.  We tend to question God at times, and ask Him why He allows the world to be this way and why doesn’t He do something?  Shane Claiborne’s reply to this at the conference was that  ”God says – I did do something – I made you – now, GO DO SOMETHING!” Makes sense doesn’t it?  Didn’t God put believers here to continue the ministry and work of Jesus? If every one of Christ’s followers got involved in just one of the issues close to His heart, we would change the world.
So, again, what can you do?  Get involved – in anything that follows God’s heart for hurting people.  Serve in your community at a lower income school that needs support, get involved with clothing closets or food banks in your area, find a global cause that you can give financially to, volunteer your time for any ministry organizations that you know of.  It takes effort – the opportunity for service often does not show up at your door (although sometimes it does – with a neighbor or a friend).  You have to put yourself out there and pray that God will show you where he wants you to serve.
I have not been able to stop thinking about this article that I read a few days ago –  It is a list of “guiding trends” that is put together every ten year by a Christian Foundation called “First Fruit”. They interview over 100 leaders in academia, policy, business, NGOs and Christian Ministry and select 10 trends that they believe will most significantly influence the coming years.  One of the trends really stuck with me as it is so central to our hearts at E4 with everything we do, and also related perfectly to all that was discussed at the Justice Conference.
“INCREASE IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN AT RISK – Poverty, war, ethnic conflict, massive migrations and environmental strains will contribute to a significant rise in and increased awareness of women and children-at-risk of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labor and displacement.  Globalization, inexpensive travel, porous borders, and high rates of corruption will contribute to an ease of trafficking women and children across countries and regions.  At-risk women and children will continue to experience a greater hazard of HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and other global pandemics, causing many deaths and major social and economic disruption.  The number of children orphaned by AIDS, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to swell.”
This brings up many specific areas of service that you can get involved in.  If you are looking for specific organizations or ways to help, but feel that you need more direction, please contact me.  I would love to help any of you in your quest to follow Christ and God’s heart for the poor, marginalized and those treated with injustice.

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