Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't Put it out of Your Mind

If you're reading this, you're probably interested in finding out how things are going as I am going about day-to-day preparing for this trip. Honestly, if I were to write about that, right now, it would be about how frustrated I am about having to put forth so much money for something only intended for good.. I do feel a little frustrated right now. I do want to tell you about my intentions and motivations for going.. about my hopes for the future, but that will come later. Right now, I want to call your attention not to my life, not even to Africa, but to a little island country, south of Florida.

Many of you are probably aware that this past Tuesday, January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the small country of Haiti, completely leveling most of Port Au Prince, and many surrounding cities. The death toll is enormous for a country if its size - up to hundreds of thousands. Those who have survived are coming out of shock to realize that anything they once had is now completely. Gone.  Many are injured, have lost family members and friends, their homes are now turned to rubble, and now have no access to food or clean water.
The relief teams who are beginning to arrive are finding unrest as these people are desperate for the basic means of survival. Eighty percent of Haiti's population already lived below the poverty line before this catastrophe, and it is unimaginable how it will be able to recover.
A few minutes ago, I heard a reporter on the radio give an update about the situation, and after a brief mention of the peoples' situation, she focused on a group of 8 college students from Florida who were in Haiti to study at the time, but were completely unaffected by the quake. Please always be reminded that the lives of Americans are no more previous than any other human on this earth.
There have been television preachers who have already proclaimed that this tragedy is God's judgement on this country. This saddens me.. God didn't call His people to judge, but to love mercy and act justly, to provide for a brother or sister in need.
The world is hearing about this great tragedy in Haiti, and not only asking questions about what is being done to help, but also WHO is doing it. As followers of Jesus, we are the hands and feet He uses in this world to do His work, to show mercy, love, and justice through our lives.

Psalm 113:7: 
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
I will admit that every time I see the images of the wreckage in a headline, it makes my stomach turn, so I try to put it out of my head. But this type of attitude is not acceptable. We all have something to give. Our lives are so full.

So, if you're planning on going to the movies this weekend, consider renting from RedBox instead, and using the money to provide emergency relief.
Use a blog or facebook to share your thoughts and encourage friends to love, pray, and provide emergency aid.
Also, importantly, pray for the situation. Pray for individuals, pray for the government of Haiti, pray that Christians will stand up and be the Hands and Feet in the midst of disaster.
If you'd like to send money, here are some of the organizations who are on the ground right now:

Why does our response matter to God? To name a few..

Joshua 1:14-15
... You are to help your brothers until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you ....

1 Samuel 2:7-8
The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

Psalm 72:12-14
For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.  He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

Psalm 82:3-4
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 140:12
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.

Psalm 145:14-18
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 146:7-9
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked

Proverbs 31:8-9
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Isaiah 1:17
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 58:6-11
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 
"The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Zechariah 7:9-10
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'"

However you choose to respond, don't put it out of your mind. Don't turn your back. Our lives are so full. Pour some out on a world that is broken and let it fill your heart.


1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could have said it better myself. Our school is doing a fundraiser/contest to raise money to help the people of Haiti, ever since I heard about what happened I've been praying about how God would like me to help.
    I've also come to find that this is an addition, for me, of God opening my eyes more to worship & justice. He's been opening my eyes to the world around me, that it's soo much bigger than my little world.
    Globally there is a lot of need (and I do not mean in ANY way to push aside or anything like that) but there are also people in our cities, neighborhoods, schools, etc that are also the poor, oppressed, afflicted, needy, etc that we are called to love as well. So ALL of this God has opened my eyes to this great calling of His people. Like you said we are to be His hands and feet.
    I love the calling that God has placed on your heart and I will be praying for you. I think it's really amazing to hear how you want to make a difference and share the love of Christ.
    You are, and I am trying to, share the love of Christ to all those in need everyday. I pray everyday our eyes are opened to the ways that God is calling us to move in HIS name.
    I love you, thank you for sharing your heart.