Ignorance is bliss. Or is it? Regardless, I can’t claim ignorance any longer when it comes to the global church. I live in a day and age that allows me access to information about things happening half way across the world, at almost the moment that they happen. There are very few places I can learn nothing about, if I am willing to invest the time to find out.
Lately I’ve spent a lot of time finding out. And let me tell you, the realities can be hard to swallow. It seems not everyone lives in a 2,000 sq. ft. house. Not everyone has three meals a day. Not everyone has access to health care and education. Not everyone feels safe when they share their beliefs. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
True, not knowing about what others face on a daily basis did not make it any less of a reality to those living through it, but it did jade my reality. What has changed now that I have begun to educate myself on the circumstances of others around the globe?
For one, it has changed the way I read scripture. For example, even a simple verse like Galatians 6:10, which says “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” AS WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY? I could have read that in the past and been like, yeah, sure, I do that. If I see someone in need, financially, I help them, it is just that most are better off financially than I am. And if I come across someone searching for Christ I point them in the right direction, I just don’t come across those people that often. And if someone needs help with something and it fits into my schedule, I gladly help them. But what if I was defining “opportunity” all wrong?
And I was. Which is why now, even a simple passage like that LEAPS off the page at me. Am I looking for opportunities, or avoiding them? What about the hundreds of thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ all over the globe that have needs so intense it pains me to think about? What about the people who live every day of their lives in a manner that is so repulsive to us that we don’t even want to see pictures of it in church on Sunday morning? I don’t want to see starving people. I don’t want to see naked people. I don’t want to see people living in trash piles. It raises too many questions in my mind.
It makes me question. Good. It makes me research. Good. It educates me on reality. Good. And all of those things have happened for me. But I couldn’t let that be where it stopped. That is where it stops for so many in the American church. We educate and educate and educate, with no action. For me, it had to move from my head to my heart. And it has. It has gripped me. It has wrecked me. It has challenged me. Left me sleepless for nights. (sorry Tracy) Oh that I would start living my life with the urgency worthy of being a Christ follower.
Another thing that has changed for me the last couple of years, is my desires. I find watching football on t.v. boring. Seriously, I would have NEVER thought I would say that sentence. I would rather read a book, or do a bible study. (Wow, back to back sentences I never saw myself saying.) I’m finding prayer to be more than just a way to fall asleep. I desire to talk to God more intimately, to know Him better. Now that I know what my Christian brothers and sisters are facing every day, I am constantly praying for them. I found this cool site you should check out, it is about prayer and the global church, called Operation World. Go check it out, you can thank me later. When you know this stuff, it totally changes how you live your life, at least it did for me.
While I’m very passionate about the global church, I am specifically focusing on Haiti. So I end this post with a video I found on the Operation World website. The video is done by Prayercast. It is specifically about Haiti, but you can find a video like it for about 60 other countries as well. Ignorance is not bliss. Not for our brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world that need our support, not for the billions living without having heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I beg you. Pray. Give. Go. Do something, somewhere. Perhaps you already are, if so, THANK YOU! If not, let me challenge you to start truly living today. Take it from me, it is SO much better than Monday Night Football.