Monday, August 24, 2009

You can make a difference in the world

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 94:16 (NIV):

“Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers.”

Don’t let silly politicians fool you: There is much evil in the world. Today, for instance, there is more slavery in the world than in any other time in history. There are more poor and starving children in the world than in any other time in history, often because of oppression and political corruption. America is feeling the effects of the current recession, but it’s nothing compared to those who live on a dollar a day in Africa, India or South America. In Haiti, people are selling mud patties to fill their empty stomachs. They add butter to make them palatable.

I am reading “The Hole in Our Gospel,” by World Vision president Richard Stearns, who spoke at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit earlier this month. I am convicted for what the church is not doing to help the poor and the starving. I go to the church I do because we support such ministries as World Vision and International Justice Ministries, both of which go out into the poor countries of the world and try to make a dent in the world’s poverty. My wife and I support two children financially.

At the Summit, Jessica Jackley, the founder of, was interviewed by Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels, about the group’s concepts. Kiva is a microfinance bank that offers loans from people such as you and me to impoverished entrepreneurs who have an idea to start a business but no capital. For as little as $25, you can help a single mom in Africa buy a few chickens that will lay eggs to be sold in the market so she can feed her kids. These people don’t need a handout, they need a hand up.

I was recently unemployed for six weeks, but we had saved money for such an emergency. I never missed a meal during that time. Our mortgage was never late. The worst complaint I have is that our air conditioner is busted, and on hot days it can get uncomfortable working in the house. I daily drink bottled water that is clean. Compared with 90 percent of the world, I have it made. I have a roof over my head to protect me from the elements. I have clothes to wear, and food to fill my tummy. No one in my family is going without. But I can’t help thinking about the impoverished single mom in Africa whose husband just died of AIDS, and she can’t make a living to feed her starving children.

It’s a small thing, but you can make a difference in one person’s life. I urge you to check into these three organizations listed below and to support them in any way you can. Giving up a latte a week means $20 a month toward feeding someone. It’s time to stop sitting on our lazy butts and making excuses. You can make a difference—even if it’s in the life of one child in the world.

International Justice Ministry:


World Vision:

How can I help one person in this world?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me not to forget about the poor and the starving in the world. Amen

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