I heard a friend from Ghana (West Africa) preach and teach Sunday morning at my home congregation, and his presentations brought back memories. I was blessed to go on a mission trip to Ghana for three weeks in May 2007. While there, I learned how hard life is for many Christians around the world. Some of us have hard lives, too, but not like this. Unless some of us are living in grass huts with dirt floors and no indoor plumbing, then our lives aren’t that hard. Unless some of us are five or six years old living on the streets where we have to steal food, sleep on the sidewalk, and endure horrific abuse, then our lives aren’t that hard.
We’ve seen the infomercials on TV about feeding the starving children, and I used to wonder if those were scams. Some probably were, but there are children in the world who need our help. After all, if help doesn’t come from us, where will it come from? In comparative terms, God has made us all rich. And we can invest in others, or we can pamper ourselves. At some point, that becomes the bottom line–others or ourselves.
My family wants to help. My Ghanaian friend Fred Asare is director of the Village of Hope. The Village houses almost 200 orphaned children. It feeds them, provides for them, teaches them, and loves them. The Village also consists of a school which has over 500 students! It is a wonderful work–one that I’ve witnessed myself. If you want to learn more about it, visit www.gwam.org/VOH%20Open.html. At this site, you will learn that you can help sponsor a child for $25 a month. Not much, is it? I learned Sunday that we can provide the total financial support for a child for $100 a month. $100. I know that this is more than spare change. But take this challenge…
Take a few minutes and make out a list of the non-essential things you buy over the course of a month. I’ve done it, and it’s amazing how fast these non-essentials add up. But did your list add up to $100? Mine didn’t. Not at first. And that’s where this whole blog topic becomes real.
Do we love these unknown, unseen children enough to sacrifice. Do we love them enough to redifine what is essential in our lives so that they can have food, shelter, protection, and an education? I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty. You shouldn’t give out of a sense of guilt. If you give, you should do it out of love and compassion. But we should all periodically re-evaluate our priorities and our lifestyles to see if we are living like Christ. If we are, then I’m optimistic that our families can make a way to redirect $100 a month so that one of God’s little children can live with hope.