Monday, May 23, 2011

Vison of Hope

As we gathered for worship yesterday, we celebrated "Hope Sunday," a day to focus on helping children out of poverty.  With the help of World Vision, we learned about ways we can really help eliminate poverty.  We heard from several folks at Crossroads who already sponsor children, and it was a moving experience.  Helping these children has really brought us closer to Jesus.

At last count, we had 9 children around the world who had new sponsors!  (Please let us know if you signed up as a sponsor at home, so that we can see how many children have been blessed through Hope Sunday!)  It was especially encouraging to see our teenagers leading the way, being the first ones to "adopt" these children. 

I especially like World Vision's approach to helping the poor.  On their website, World Vision says,

"We seek to facilitate an engagement between the poor and the affluent that opens both to transformation. We respect the poor as active participants, not passive recipients, in this relationship...The need for transformation is common to all. Together we share a quest for justice, peace, reconciliation, and healing in a broken world."

Giving people food and shelter may help temporarily, but it can leave them waiting for the next delivery of aid.  When we work to transform their living environment, we see sustainable change.  This happens when we actually share the love of Jesus, through education, medical aid, clean water, economic opportunity and the gospel. 

As we share Christ's love holistically, he can change their hearts and truly transform their lives.

And, as World Vision says, we who give are also transformed.  We began to see that yesterday.