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Posts Tagged ‘Poverty’

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Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action

1 John 3:18

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About thirty of us headed down to downtown Phoenix to be a part of Feed my Starving Children’s One Million Meals campaign. FMSC is expanding and they held this 24 hour event that was trying to pack one million meals and raise one million dollars for the expansion. I serve with FMSC every six months and love being a part of a team of people who bonds together to make a difference in the world. FMSC is a food packing ministry that uses volunteers to pack food that is shipped all over the world to poverty striken areas to feed children that suffer from malnourishment. This event was held at the Phoenix convention center and they had time slots that you could sign up for over the weekend. Our group took the call and did the 3am to 5am slot. We were tired, but in the end our group packed 72360 meals – enough to feed 198 kids for a year. Overall in the 24 hours, 2,966 volunteers packed 1,023,408 meals (enough to feed 2804 children for a full year)! They also raised over $500,000 for the expansion. It was a blessing to be a part of this and a blessing to serve alongside my amazing friends.

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I've become an accomplished photobomber

I’ve become an accomplished photobomber

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I attended Food for the Hungry’s Hope & Courage conference today with a few friends. Food for the Hungry partners and walks with churches and leaders in overcoming poverty in various countries. I’m a huge fan of what they do and have enjoyed a long relationship with the organization.

The first session was led by Os Guinness – founder of the Trinity Forum and renowned speaker and writer. Os talked about how our faith has become diluted and that we need to get back to the gospel. He identified three big tasks: repairing the global south, winning back the west and contributing to the human future. The church has gotten worldly and has spread out to areas that aren’t influential. We need leaders and we need to let the Spirit lead like in Acts. We live in an upside down Kingdom where the least is not the greatest. We give money to get and we have an American worldview of how to care for people. But despite all that has gone on, the gospel still underlines this world and has shaped it. Accomplishing these tasks would give to rise and caring (humanity, gratitude) and Christ needs to the one to lead the movement.

I was looking forward to the next speaker. Laurent Mbanda is the bishop of the Shyira Diocese for the Anglican church of Rwanda. Laurent shared a little about his story of leaving Rwanda after the genocide and then returning. He noted that as thousands were being killed in the churches, the leaders did nothing. But today there is a lot of aid with poverty as a result of the church’s partnership with the community. He talked a lot about partnerships with existing organizations, training and working together. Today he is noticing many changes in Rwanda and he credits that to many leaders becoming Christians. He stressed areas of importance to the poor, children, education, women and health.

Bob Moffitt of Harvest Foundation spoke on poverty from scripture. Poverty is defined more than a lack of materialism. Jesus was poor and was in bad living conditions, yet he had enough. He became all God wanted Him to be without having an abundance of stuff. (He then gave the example of Japan – very materialistic and wealthy, yet the highest suicide rate). There are two types of poverty – voluntary (ex: Jesus, Mother Theresa) and involuntary (as a result of sin). He stressed scripture more than projects and that we need to respond – Personal lifestyle (humility, worship – 2 Cron 7:14, Is 58:1-6), Corporate (the church-Eph 3:10) and Transformation (our success is based on obedience, not numbers).

Hope – hope in His promises when we are obedient and then we will be courageous

Courage – like  in the book of Joshua. Be strong and courageous

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Laurent Mbanda

“The church always goes forward best when it goes backwards first.” – Os Guinness

“If you’re going to change a community, you have to focus on children” – Bishop Laurent Mbanda

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Lent 2011. The 40 days of Lent correspond to the time Jesus spent being tempted in the desert before beginning his public ministry. During Lent, Christians examine their hearts and are particularly diligent about putting away sinful behaviors. People often give something up for Lent – examples are a particular item of food or a bad habit. This period is a reminder that following Christ means dying to myself every day. I have always wanted my observance of lent to be a little more outspoken in being an advocate for a particular cause near and dear to my heart. So for the past two years I have observed lent by taking on a challenge from Blood:Water Missions. They have asked us to fast from all beverages with the exception of water for 40 days. They then ask that we donate the money we save from that cup of coffee that we buy each day and donate it to their clean water projects in Africa. This year I am also taking on another challenge from World Vision ACT:S (a ministry that challenges us to create a modern-day book of Acts with our lives) and will be giving up six luxuries each week during lent in addition to drinking only water as a beverage for the 40 days. Each day I will be posting on my Facebook/Twitter a particular cause/ministry/missionary dear to me and a scripture verse that speaks to me during the 40 days. I plan on reading out of Psalms and Proverbs during this time and the gospels leading up to Easter. I will also be blogging each week and let you know how God is working in me during this time. I am excited this year as Christin will be joining me in this fast. I am looking forward to doing this alongside her as well as having the extra accountability.

Will you pray for us during this time? Will you also consider observing lent and give up something that is meaningful and use this time to draw closer to God? If you would like to contribute to my campaign for Blood:Water Mission you may do so here and put my name in the box as the person you are donating on behalf of. Lent starts this Wednesday March 9 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on April 23 (day before Easter Sunday). Thank you for your support and prayers. God Bless!

I will be wearing these silly bands of Africa and a drop of water during the 40 days I fast to remind me of how I am impacting a life in Africa with my beverage fast.

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