I don't know how to react to all the things going on in our world. I have found myself not wanting to watch the news and see pictures of Japan. I have been upset with myself for not wanting to see it - but I just don't know how I would handle it. When I did last night finally watch some footage of the Tsunami I was shocked. I felt like I was watching the flood in Genesis except that there were boats and cars begin dragged along in the rising waters.
A friend of mine said how sad it is that there is so much coverage on a story like this, when there is little to no coverage on the thousands of children who die every single day from things like starvation. I would have to agree. While my heart is aching for those who have died in Japan - especially the children ... my heart aches for those who die of starvation and disease in many countries around the world but no one pays attantion. I should rephrase that: not many pay attention.
I was an un-official youth leader at my previous church for years. I hated when that ended and miss that group of youth very much. We participated in the 30 hour Famine through World Vision (raising money and awareness for children dying of hunger around the world) for years and then we created our own program called the FAST to raise money for the feeding program in Zambia our church has helped personally by sending a team to Zamba and being involved with ministering to churches there in a sister church program. Our church wasn't huge 250-300 at it's peak. And our youth group was small - about 15-20 youth. But one year we raised $10,000 to be sent to World Vision. The dedication of these youth was beautiful. One year one of our young men, David came to my house ... I think it was just me and Joshua (who was then a co-youth leader and my boyfriend) and David and Grace (another kid from our group) came along as well .. I am not sure if anyone else showed up but most of the day it was just David and Grace with Josh and I. We went door to door in my nighborhood asking for support to feed these children who are dying without food. We got some very cruel remarks but many very generous people giving anything they could. Part of the way through the long day of fundraising I found out that it was David's birthday that day! He hadn't made a big deal about it, and I was so humbled to see this kid running from door to door asking for help for children he had never met - when he could have been hanging out with friends on his birthday. David is a young man with a heart for serving God and his fellow man and I know that God has great things in store for his life as He continues to use David to minister to a hurting world.
I think it is so important to realize that every 7 seconds a child dies from hunger or hunger related conditions. Not to minimize the emense suffering in Japan right now - but to remind us all that there are large scale suffering all over the world and we need to pray and give and go as God leads us.
We ALL have suffering in our individual lives - we all have pain. I think one of the best ways to fight against complaining is to educate ourselves about others who are in truely tragic situaions. Not so that we can compair and say how much better off we are - but so that we can take our focus off ourselves and do something to help others. Even someone who is bedridden can help by prayer and sometimes giving. No one who believes in Jesus escapes the responsibility of touching the world with God's love in some way.
How will you reach out in generosity and love today?