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Posts Tagged ‘Compassion’

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Greg Haugen and Louie Giglio

If there is an organization making a difference in the world with the issue of slavery and sex trafficking, it is International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Their vision is to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible. IJM was founded in 1997 and works all over the world. I have been looking forward to this part of Passion all week as they had President Greg Haugen come and speak to us.

Greg spoke to us about how his heart was turned onto justice. In 1994, Rwanda experienced their genocide in which millions of people were murdered in a matter of weeks. The world watched and did nothing. People were asking the question “where was God?” Greg asked the question “where were God’s people?” Here are some key notes from his talk:

The World will know we are His followers if we have outward love for each other

Some facts: 27 million people in the world are being held in slavery. These people are being forced to work all day. In sex trafficking, abused and raped children are being sold. And it is in our own backyard…

We can be the generation that ends slavery. Not because we are awesome, but because we have an awesome God. We need to make the 27 million people in slavery a priority. The world needs to see that God is present and those in slavery need to know that our God is a God that saves.

DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY – MICAH 6:8

What is God’s plan? – WE are the plan (God’s people). He gives us the power.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves

Christ offers five things to us (because we don’t have a chance to change this on our own)

1. Extravagant compassion – God opens our heart to a hurting world. We wants to transform our hearts of stone to a heart of flesh

2. Moral clarity – Evil is confusing. God gives us His Word to tell right from wrong

3. Sacrificial courage – We will have to see and tell hard things. Jesus grows the courage in our hearts

4. Tenacious hope – We will see more defeats than mercy. God is the ultimate Lord of this world and justice will prevail

5. Refreshing joy – Joy is the oxygen to do hard things. He gives us good things to refresh us to do the hard things

Greg showed this video from the civil rights movement of 1961. I was very moved by it. Jim Zwerg (a white man) and John Lewis (an African-American man) rode these Freedom Ride buses together to fight against segregation. Jim was beaten up for his stance. This video of him in the hospital was recorded right after the attacks. Jim would also go on to say that he meditated on Psalms 27 the night before and that he gained his strength to stand up for justice from his faith. Hundreds would later join the Freedom Ride after this video was shown.

God can do immeasurably more in us

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Advent – Day 18

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I spent the day at Starbucks today reading a book and a letter that I got from my Compassion child that I sponsor. I have been supporting him since my birthday of 2006 – it was my gift to myself. As I was writing Ladouceur (who is now 11), I was trying to put myself in his shoes in the country of Haiti and what his everyday life is like. This is when I appreciate all the countries I’ve been to and how I’ve seen with my own eyes what poverty-stricken countries go through. Not too long after that, my buddy Kory Kredit posted this video of an India trip I took with him and Cornerstone two years ago. Even though I love the ministry of Harvest India, that was a one time trip for me (unless He calls me back). But it was a trip that came at the perfect time of my life. I saw the power of God and the power of prayer in a country dominated by Hinduism. I was able to share my testimony to hundreds of lepers, dedicate a water well and saw scores of people come to Christ. Harvest India has made a difference in the Kingdom because of prayer. I needed a boost to my faith during that difficult time and I can now look back at that spiritual marker as a source of hope. God has always used my life for extraordinary things and I time and time again forget His faithfulness. I needed to see this video. Later today I got an amazing out-of-the-blue email that just blew me away, but yet not surprising because it is how God works. Watch where God is working and join Him thereExperiencing God. Try not to figure what He is doing and just take a step in faith. As I join in this new partnership, I look forward to sharing this awesome God story as it unfolds. God is working and He loves us enough to ask us to join Him.

2011 Team to India

2011 Team to India

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

Hundreds of Indians coming to Christ at a crusade

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The leper colony I shared my testimony with

Lots of people wanted to be prayed over

Praying for the people of India

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Compassion for consumption. Giving of ourselves to something bigger than any of us. This is Advent Conspiracy.  I want to make each day leading up to Christmas a day to worship Jesus fully. Mission church showed the below video and I was immediately on board with where I want to contribute and serve this year. In 2012, 8,500 orphans and vulnerable children in Chikudzulire, Malawi (for more info check out Somebody Cares) are able to have a nutritious meal everyday because of the charitable contributions of the people of Mission. Once again they want to feed 8,500 children a daily meal for all of 2013 and provide clean drinking water to 8,000 families. I want to give more of myself this Advent season and be a part of what God is doing in the world. I’m excited to see God do big things this Christmas.

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Above: Ryan Guard with Craig Gross      Below: Steve Lappen

Above: Ryan Guard with Craig Gross Below: Steve Lappen

Cleaning up Liberty House

Cleaning up Liberty House

Very hot day!!

Very hot day!!

Above: J.R. n Craig goofing off    Middle: Ministry opportunity  Below: Starving Jesus at Camber

Above: J.R. n Craig goofing off Middle: Ministry opportunity Below: Starving Jesus at Camber

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

It was a rough day for me. Today was what would have been my 10th wedding anniversary. I woke up not wanting to let the day get to me. I wanted to do something productive instead of sulk on the couch. So I decided to serve.
Craig Gross of the XXX church and J.R. Mahon wrote a book called Starving Jesus. The theme was that too many Christians are not doing enough to tell others about Jesus. Too many Christians are stuck in the pews. So they rented an RV and started a 40 day road trip across the U.S. to visit different cities and to challenge those within the church to put their faith in action. In addition to fasting during the 40 day journey, they also brought a pew along and chained themselves to it whereever they stopped.
Day 6 consisted of a stop in Chandler, AZ. They challenged us in the community to go serve at the Liberty House. Steve Lappen is the director of Crossroads Youth Intervention – an organization that takes in at-risk youths. The Liberty House is a building that the kids can hang out after school. They have tutoring and after school programs. The goal is not only to get them off the streets, but also present them the gospel. The problem is that CRYi has a small staff and Liberty House is a very old house that is in need of some work and cleaning. So a team of us when down there to work on the place. It was a hot, but very rewarding day.
That evening, Craig and J.R. spoke at Camber – Cornerstone’s college ministry. They chained themselves to a pew onstage and spoke about the passage in James that states “Faith without works is dead”. Afterwards, Compassion International had a table set up in the lobby. I had the blessing of signing up and sponsoring a child from Haiti. What a blessing that was! God made an amazing day out of what could have been a rough one for me.

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