Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Hi. My name is Jesse Schwamb and I serve Forgotten Voices as the Director for Sustainable Development. Working with FVI has given me the unique privilege to meet many of you who frequent this blog and rely on its content to learn of the many messy and miraculous happenings of Southern Africa. I am so thankful for each of you who use this website as a means of supporting our partners in Africa with your prayers, thoughtfulness, curiosity, and finances. During this special Season, it is our hope that you will return here daily to visit with the many children who are represented in these posts. In fact, the blog will be updated each and every day in anticipation of Christmas. So we would like you to think of the FVI blog not merely as an informative source, but as a living, breathing Advent calendar-of-sorts. In these days before Christmas, we join our African brothers and sisters in the sequential anticipation of our blessed Messiah. What an exciting opportunity for us to be a part of each other's Advent Season!
Recently, I have noticed that Christmas in the West can often become performance-based. There is the pressure to find the best gift, to throw the best family gathering, to bake the most delicious cookies, and to have the most beautifully decorated house on the street. This observation has inspired something different within me this year and has caused me to consider the amazing children we serve in Southern Africa with eyes anew.
When I ponder the Christmas story, I am awestruck by God's unabashed entry into our world. Arriving as a common, helpless babe, Jesus - the very Son of God - comes into our humanity to seek and to save the lost. This is breathtaking, isn't? How absolutely incredible that God, giving his one and only Son, did not keep Jesus at arms length so that he could snatch Him up and expeditiously return Him to Heaven when the smallest discomfort befell Him. Instead, God allowed Jesus to experience every messy and miraculous aspect of humankind - even death. I love this about God. I love the fact that God rolled up His sleeves and decided to intervene when we needed Him most. Our God is not a passive God. I love that God was wholly committed to showing His love for us even if it meant the death of His only Son. When our sin resulted in a crisis, God stepped in. He intervened. He sent His Son.
The image at the opening of this post shows a group of raucously excited children who are on their way to school thanks to the generous support of FVI donors. These vulnerable children needed someone to intervene on their behalf. They needed a voice. They needed someone to roll up their sleeves and become wholly committed to their cause even if it meant making a personal (financial) sacrifice. And so many generous people, through their gifts and support, have made this possible. The situation in Zimbabwe and Zambia is dire, but not hopeless! This Advent Season, won't you consider the example of Jesus and intervene in the life of a child in Africa? Will you consider honoring the gift of Jesus with a gift of your own to Forgotten Voices so that other children will know they are not forgotten? Will we be the kind of people who respond to the crisis in Africa by stepping in to help those in need? These are the questions I am asking this year as I prepare for Christmas.
Please consider adding one more person to your shopping list this Christmas. There is a child in Africa who desperately needs you to intervene on their behalf. I guarantee that a child sitting in the back of an overcrowded pickup truck, on the way to their very first day of school, will never forget the sacrifice you made to allow them that opportunity. Please click here to give now.
Thanks and Blessings,
Written by Jesse at 12/03/2008 08:50:00 PM