Friday, June 1, 2007

Struggling through the issues. . .

Brayden is sick and was up most of the night, but to tell you the truth, even when he was sleeping I was tossing, turning thinking and dreaming about Africa. I am just struggling with the concept of children starving and us doing nothing about it. I've always had a tender heart towards it, but now it's personal. Very likely, my child is going hungry right now. If not mine, than one of my new AoH friends. How can we let that happen. I would NEVER stand by and let Abbie, Andon, Jakob, Trent, Ryan, the Largaespada kids, the dunwell boys or any other kids I know starve to death. . .yet I have done nothing to help the starving children of Africa up to this point. It breaks my heart. I will have to answer to my child and to my God. My child may say to me one day, "thanks for saving me from starvation, but what about my parents and family".

Now, I tend to believe I don't have the money. However, I have the money to eat fastfood 3-4 times a week and buy a cute new shirt for Gracie when I see it, or have cable or a hundred other things. All of that money relates into money that could be feeding someone's child. For less that $1 I can feed, clothe, provide medical care and schooling for a child for one day. That means the $15 I spend at Mickey D's could translate into 15 children eating / no make that surviving another day. So, I'm not saying I'll never eat fastfood again, but could I / could you, take one meal a week and CHOOSE to eat pb&j and set that money aside. If we did this once a week, that would save $780 which would save one child for over 2 years.

Here's my struggle. I know I'm called to this place, this nation, this people. I don't know how to be here and not struggle with the indulgence of our nation. I don't know how to look at my own life and deem which things are unneccessary and should be given up to provide more funds for others to eat. I know Pastor Jon talks about living life in tension. This is going to be that area for me. I also know that I tend to be judgemental. I need the Lord to do this in my thoroughly, even to help me encourage others, but then not to judge their use of money. That is hard!!

I also know that poverty isn't the key issue. Jesus is. He clearly stated that "the poor you will always have with you" so the eradication of poverty ~ probably not going to happen. However, he also stated "if someone is hungry, feed him". So it seems to me, that we must feed. Hopefully, that feeding that meeting of their basic physical needs will lead into an opportunity to share about the real bread that can save them.

Please pray with me as I struggle through this. I am in tears most days considering it. I know that even reading this, many of you are thinking through these issues for the first time. So, please, if the Lord is challenging your heart. . .take the challenge. Consider joining me in looking for things that I was going to spend money on and saying no instead. This may be a shirt I want or a fast food meal, but I will choose to say no to my flesh so I can say Yes to His command to feed the hungry. Then, I will take that amount of money and set it aside.

Here's what I'd like to do. Acres of Hope has many great relief arms. They feed 8,000 a day, have 2 orphanage homes, a medical clinic and the training and supplying of schools. I am going to talk to Acres about some of their needs. What I'd love is for anyone who God is challenging, to join me in raising money. For some it may be that $5-$10 per week (what a great lesson to include your kids in) and some may be able to do much larger amounts. My goal is to raise money over the next year and be able to present it to Acres when we go pick up our child. Please pray with me that God will move the hearts of His people to respond to Him. I'd love to see $10,000 - $50,000 raised. Imagine what money like that could do in a country so needy.

Thanks for listening to me. . .

3 comments:

Jess said...

God has a lot to teach us all on your journey! Love you!

Jen said...

I read this around 11:30 pm just before I went to bed and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I even had some dreams around this. I am amazed by your faithfulness. I feel encouraged on so many levels. Love you.

mommy zabs said...

HEY BRANDI!
I love your blog and catching up on you... and boy I can't believe how big our little ones are getting!!!

This post was just amazing. There is so much encouragement in seeing the way God is working in people's hearts. He calls us to deep places of challange that does leave us in a tension... do we accept the call or go back to status quo? What an incredible place and FREEING place to say YES! I'll take the way God is leading me.

He has been working on me in similiar areas like this (thought not completely the same...) It is causing me to really stop and consider my actions often including money...

A word study I'm going to be working on is 'prudence' I will post on it in the next week or so when I feel it is ready... but that is what this stuff is about. God is so good to lead us in his way... to ordain our steps... to take our hearts and continually mold them to be more like his!

I will bookmark you and keep up on your journey!