Thursday, January 20, 2011

The 5 Minute Snapshot

It's amazing to me what all happens across the world at the same time. I remember coming home from Haiti (my first long visit out of the United States) and being in awe that while I was ordering food at a restaurant while the people I just left were literally starving to death. I went into an anti-American funk for an entire year. Now that I'm older and hopefully a bit wiser, I realize that my hating America and not singing "God Bless America" on the 4th of July did nothing to help anyone in Haiti.

In his book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Rich Stearns talks about Former President Jimmy Carter and his take on what was the biggest global challenge facing us as we began the  new millennium. Carter wisely answered, "the disparity between the rich and the poor." It wasn't the fact that there were so many poor, or that so many died of preventable diseases but the problem he identified was that so many of US had so much and were ignorant or doing nothing to help out those who were so desperate in need. Part of my life-curriculum that God has for me is to become AWARE of the needs of the world...but not to stop there. All that becoming aware alone does is to make me feel guilty. I need to ACT upon my knowledge.

We were just saying this two weeks ago to our 5th and 6th graders whom we teach at our church. How awful that so many are in need! So many are hungry...we have more food than we need! What can we do? We waited to hear their answers. One of them raised a tentative hand, "We can give money to organizations?" YES! We don't have to necessarily buy a plane ticket and fly our leftover casserole to India and find a hungry person to give it to, but we can do smart research and pray about where we direct our resources to. Organizations already have the infrastructure in place and the connections with which to do SOMETHING for these needs.

I am not a proponent of any particular organization. I have many that I really love though. And I know that there are so many more that I have yet to encounter. I also know that corrupt organizations exist and that the need for smart research before giving is an important step. I want to encourage you (especially if you are taking the 3% challenge!!) to not just watch a video like this and walk away shaking your head at all that just happened while you watched it. DO SOMETHING!! Even if it's just $5. If you want a list of some of my favorite charitable organizations, I'd be happy to provide them, but my guess is, you may have some of your own. The important thing is to not walk away without action. This verse is coursing through my mind:

James 1:22-24 

 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

(And just so you know, I can't hit "publish post" before I go make my own donation to a favorite cause!! Here's where I just gave: 60 Feet)


  1. Powerful. :'( I am interested in that list of charities. Our family has a short list of reputable organizations we enjoy giving too, however, we are always open to learning about others. :D


  2. Hey Amy!

    Thanks from the whole Sixty Feet team for your support (and mentioning us on your blog!)

    One of my favorite thoughts from "The Hole in our Gospel" was the story about the starfish. Helping the orphaned, widowed, the poor and the oppressed can seem so overwhelming at times. But - like you said - even $5 can make such a difference in one person's life. And if we make a difference with just one starfish, it's worth it, isn't it!


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