Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let my Heart be broken...

Our first book club meeting on "The Hole in Our Gospel" went so wonderfully!
In the Prologue to this book, which is all we had to read this week, Richard Sterns told the story of Richard, an orphan in Rakai, Uganda who's parents both died of AIDS. He cares for his 2 brothers on his own. Other than his siblings...Richard was all alone in the world. I cannot even fathom that. What if my daughter was left to care for Elias by herself. Surely they would both die.

Stearns talks about how until that moment in his life, he had lived in this perfect little bubble of life here in the U.S. But there, as it starred him in the face, he could not get away...he even stated how amazing it was how this suffering had the same name as he did...Richard.

I love this section of pages 7 thru 11...
"Rakai was what God wanted me to see. My sadness that day was replaced with repentance... Twelve million orphans (due to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) and no one noticed? But what sickened me most was this question: Where was the church? Surely the church should have been caring for these "orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27). "

The prologue itself was filled with so much to think about. Now i have read the whole book already, but this reread and study is really making me look at it again and let it sink in even more. This is what I really needed. The famous quote from this book is what i long for... The founder of World Vision, Bob Pierce once said "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God".

So, for our challenge this week which was given to us in the study guide, "we were to skip a weekly trip to the grocery store and donate the money to a local food bank. During this week, we are to only eat what is left in the pantry or fridge. By the end of the week, choices are often limited and our family may get a feel for what it is like to have few food choices."

Now, for me and a couple of others this was not too big a challenge because i have so much food stored away in my house that we could probably eat for a month without really noticing much more than the sweet snacks missing. So, some of us decided instead to vow not to go out to eat for a week with our families, friends...etc. This, for me at least, is a sacrifice in that I really am a foodie and love the times when we get to eat out and i can spare myself of the effort of making dinner every night. So far, Eric has mentioned going out twice this week during my challenge. Oh how i wanted to give in!!! But i guess instead, we will have to tally the cost of those 2 dinners and take our challenge seriously.

I totally challenge you to do this. It makes you think. How blessed am i?! Thank you God, I don't know why i am but i am and i must step up to the plate.

Until next week, here is another video to share. This really impacted me! Enjoy...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beginning our Book Club...

Ok, so i have put this blog off for way too long. But in some senses i have not much to write at the moment as Elias is doing great, and so is Juli and as for China, we still WAIT.

But i have come to the realization that many of the things in my life have required waiting and so it will be again and again for me. And that is ok, because in the end God always comes through with flying colors. His timing is ALWAYS perfect.

On Thursday we begin our book club here at my house on The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Sterns. He is the President of the U.S. branch of World Vision and his book has changed my life and the perspective i carry of it.

So, i figured what better way to add to my blog than to follow along with our book club and write a little synopsis of it as i go along each week. Hopefully, if you have not read this book, these blog entries will encourage you to. And even if you have absolutely no intention of ever reading it, i hope you can get a feel for what Sterns is trying to get across to all of us...that God has given us, the world's wealthy, the responsibility for taking care of our neighbors, the poor and destitute of this earth. And if we could understand our part, we all as small pieces can eradicate poverty altogether. And by wealthy he means all of us because we as Americans, no matter what class of income we are in are still among the world's richest.

But there is so much more to it than that. Sterns tells us why it is our responsibility and what poverty actually is and does and how hope can be the driving force for someone struggling in this world... Give them a little hope and you can change their whole life. The thought that i could be the one to help give them that hope humbles me greatly.

Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision once said, "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God" And he found them in the poor and suffering of our world.

Here is a video that can be found on the Hole in our Gospel website. It speaks volumes to the meaning of this whole book... see you again Thursday afternoon!