“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 NIV
The class should have come with a label: Hazardous to Your Health.
Your spiritual health.
I needed two hours of World Missions credit for my master’s degree, so I jumped at the class when I saw it: Ministry to Children at Risk. I’m currently working on another project with the professor so I looked forward to sitting under her teaching. What a tool to have as a children’s writer! The class was offered as a hybrid—two and a half days of classroom work and the rest online.
My lectures during the first week? Abortion. Child abuse. Depression and suicide in children and teens. Followed by child sex trafficking, poverty, orphans, and slavery.
I’m one month into this class and already I’m marked. Changed. Broken.
Ignorance: I’m appalled at my own lack of knowledge. I knew such things existed. I was unprepared to learn their extent.
Clarity: The evil in the world runs like a well-oiled machine. The bad guys are organized. They know their prey and they actively seek the vulnerable and the defenseless. The good guys work diligently to impact all they can. We just need more of them. More of us.
Accountability: I’m accountable for what I know. Inaction is not an option. While giving financially helps, I’m searching for my niche in my community, because poverty, slavery, and trafficking exist in every part of the world. Even in the States.
Would I like to change your heart? Lead you to action in one short post? Sure, but first, I’d like to invite you to take your own journey. It’s gonna be tough. Your brain will not want to go here. You’ll want to look away, to put it out of your mind, to save it for another day.
Work through it. Shed the tears. Get angry. Let God break your heart for His children, for our fellow man, for our brothers and sisters.
Then, hear God’s call for yourself.
The call to be His hands and feet.
The call to shine light on the darkness.
The call to free the slaves and to feed the poor.
Take His love into the dark places and change them forever.
One person at a time.
Because every one of them matters.
I’ve included a few links to give you a sample of what I’ve learned in the last few weeks.
TED Talk Lisa Kristine Witness: Illuminating the Modern World of Slavery https://www.ted.com/speakers/lisa_kristine This 2012 TED Talk uses Lisa Kristine’s amazing photography to expose the evils of modern day slavery.
YouTube: The Sound of Abortion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdTjLZPnvKM This YouTube video/audio will help you wrap your head around abortion statistics.
I’ve also included a list of those who are doing something good—just in case you choose to join them:
The International Justice Mission works to free slaves worldwide. https://www.ijm.org
Sweet Cases provides backpacks and duffel bags for foster kids so they don’t have to use trash bags to carry their belongings. https://www.togetherwerise.org/sweet-cases-for-foster-children/
Hope Farm ministers to fatherless boys in the Fort Worth area. https://hopefarmfw.org
Exile International empowers children of war to become leaders for peace. https://exileinternational.org
Howdy Homemade owner Tom Landis hires special needs employees to run his ice cream business in Dallas. https://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2018/10/07/tom-landis-special-needs-peeps-pick-steam-howdy-homemade-ice-cream
And for your listening pleasure: Matthew West, “Do Something” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_RjndG0IX8
Please share your favorite charity. Let’s spread the word.
Workout of the Week: Do Something
Memory Verse: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17
Meditation Passage: Matthew 25:31-46 (Parable of the Sheep and the Goats)
Do It: What will you do?