Rob preached a very powerful message this weekend about Justice. I’ve been realizing lately how close to my heart the topic actually is, and always has been. I’m realizing that everything I think about and do is Justice-related. Ever since I was small, I have had this huge passion and burden for the oppressed that is all-consuming. It’s all I think about. It’s all I read about. At 10 years old, I was reading about Corrie Ten-Boom’s life in a concentration camp, Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad, people like George Washington Carver, and Hudson Taylor. These were my heros at 10. Most of my friends were into Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. I was weird. Still am. I’ve spent a summer in Uganda and Kenya, visited Mexico 4 times, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Haiti, Belize, India 3 times…I know my journey is not near over. It will be interesting to see the places where God takes me.
Something I have observed in the places I have been is the wake of havoc a lot of short-term missionaries leave. They are always well-intentioned. They are always devoted with love and compassion to the people they meet. But, I have spoken with so many people that are left in the countries that were visited. They are left scratching their heads. They say things like, "Your people said they loved us. They said their lives were changed. They say they will never forget us-but then we never hear from them. Are their lives really changed?" Honestly, I have to say, "I don’t know". I think many of them feel that once they have visited a foreign country, they have done their duty, and move on to other things.
People being well-intentioned and having sincere hearts, will cry and be moved by a message like Rob preached this weekend. My question is, "Did that feeling make it to the parking lot?" "Did you wake up thinking about it?" "Will your budget this month reflect the emotion you felt?"
And if you visit a country like India, or even spend time down at MC3, "what will be different about your lifestyle when you get home?" We are all at different places in our devotion to Jesus. Some of us are just starting out, and some have been around a while. Not everyone is called to India, but everyone is called to help the poor and the oppressed in some way.
How do we leverage our resources to help the oppressed?
My shoes don’t always match my outfits. I don’t get my hair highlighted every 6 weeks. I drive a used minivan. My kids are only in one sport. I am wearing last winters jacket. We’ve had the same TV for 15 years. We have used furniture. I don’t shop at the mall.
These are all choices. Simple choices. I am not a martyr. These simple decisions are ones that keep me focused on others. These are corners we have cut out so we can give. We can help. We are making a difference, and I honestly don’t think Sangeeetha, our Compassion International daughter, or her Mom or sister have shoes that match their outfits either.