Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Want To Fight Poverty, People of God?

malaria awareness banner
Malaria in Africa Awareness Banner


I'm sure that if you have followed the news, whether online or on TV, several months ago, you have been saturated with coverage of a baby. This baby is known as the "royal baby," and we were subjected to nonstop two-day coverage of every detail of this baby's birth. Who was he? He was born on July 22, 2013, to Catherine "Kate" Middleton and to Prince William Alexander. The day before, we were taken into every detail of the anticipated  arrival of this "royal baby" who is named Prince George Alexander, 8 lbs. and 6 oz.. I know that many people no doubt were fascinated with and entertained by this baby, born into wealth and destined as third in line for the throne in the British monarchy. But I wondered at all this saturation coverage of one very fortunate baby born into privilege. I could understand why citizens in Great Britain have been absorbed with this event, but I could not understand the worldwide fascination. I wondered, and still do, Where are our priorities?
What about all the countless far less fortunate, destitute, and hurting children throughout the world?
Why not focus on one of them and raise awareness of their need and our responsibility to help them with our time and yes, our money? And, as Christians, God makes it clear that we have a responsibility toward those who are less fortunate. This "royal baby", as he has often been called in the media, is clearly more fortunate than most of all. We are told in Scripture to focus on those who have less than us, not on those who have more, like the celebrities and their children.



suffering children
Suffering Children 


What about children like these pictured? Children who need the basics of food, clothing, medical care, education, and more? Let me give you some grim statistics.  Research bears out that all over the world, 21,000 children die of extreme poverty-related diseases. Every minute, 15 children throughout the world die in these ways. Precious children. Children with purposes and potential poured into them by their Creator. Most of us are aware of these heart-breaking, sad facts. We feel overwhelmed and helpless because we know that we cannot begin to save them all. So we throw up our hands and conclude why bother worrying about all these children we can't help? But if you read your Bible and Jesus' life, you probably know about the tiny offering that a poor widow put in the Temple treasury at that time. Her offering was in stark contrast to that of many rich worshippers who put in large amounts. You know whom Jesus praised, she who gave out of her need, not those who gave what they did not need.

You no doubt may have heard of child sponsorship. You know that child sponsorship is a commitment of time and money. I don't want to make anyone feel guilty by bring up the story of the poor widow.Yes, I fully understand that all of us have many financial responsibilities and must commit our money to a budget if we want to know financial health. You know what, though? It does not cost much money to sponsor a child through good nonprofits. Surely many more of us can find room in our budgets to include a monthly child sponsorship. Yet I would not personally recommend any nonprofit. Some are better than others at meeting the needs of children and strengthening communities.



helping poor honors God
Spiritual Awareness Banner


 I don't know if many of you have heard of Compassion International. You may have. You may have seen my recently-added Sponsor Me widget on the right sidebar of this BlogSpot. This badge easily links to this nonprofit that is a treasure trove of information about child poverty, the many countries where Compassion serves children and communities, their own blogs, and many external links to many who are spreading the word about this unique nonprofit. And what makes them special? Why does it cost a bit more to sponsor a child through Compassion than through other nonprofits? They provide food, clothing, medical care, educational opportunities. They partner with many local places of worship where they serve children, to address these children's spiritual needs. They provide their own online stationery, where you can email your sponsored child without having to pay postage; then they hand-deliver your message. What is unique about Compassion is that they are explicitly Christian, and every sponsored child is exposed to opportunities to hear the Gospel of Christ and they and their families get to know caring Christian workers.

Nonprofit addresses children's spiritual needs
Spiritual Help Stats


Don't just take my word for it but click the Sponsor Me badge on the right sidebar to go right to Compassion's site and find out what they do. There are so many registered, waiting children who would love to have a sponsor like you. You and I cannot save all these children. Nor are we expected to! But maybe we can save one or even more through committed, long-term child sponsorship. We are always talking about how the world needs heroes. We do! Most of us may not be heroes in the eyes of the world and in the dramatic sense like firefighters, military persons, law enforcement, and others. God does not expect us to be such heroes. But we can be heroes in the eyes of a precious but hurting child who needs us. God only asks us, as His people, to make a difference in the lives of select individuals when He puts them in our sphere of influence.



children in need get education
Children Get Education

                        
You see those children above. Do you think they would be able to attend school without caring persons like you and me who are willing to reach out to them? Have you considered this personalized and unique way to make a lifelong difference in the life of a precious child in need?


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