Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bridging People: Why I Give

Friends - last night, an incredible group of college students from Messiah College presented various self-created projects they've been working on for Forgotten Voices all school year. Thanks to Jesse Schwamb, our Volunteer Director for Economic Sustainability, who has helped advise them throughout.

Our leadership team of volunteers met with the students in person at Messiah's Student Union. I am in Boston right now, so I joined on Skype, as did Remmy Hamapande, our program director in Zambia. He called in from Ndola, Zambia.

From left to right are: Jesse Schwamb (FV volunteer and group mentor), Xu, Liz, Chris, Kelsey, Timo

As the students presented their work on marketing items like buttons, a new iGoogle theme, PowerPoint templates, long-term plans for college student involvement with Forgotten Voices, an incredible village savings & loan program they are implementing in Zambia... I was deeply, deeply touched... wow. I was humbled by their abundant joy and hope for people that they may never get to meet in person. Their deep and unrelenting love for the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus came to redeem us from our sins, to transform our souls to draw us closer to the Father. He came to save us. He came and lived among us lowly humans for the purposes of demonstrating the love of the Father to us here on earth --- to make the ultimate sacrifice of his life --- to die on the cross so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

Last night as I listened to these students present, I teared up thinking about how their work to model self-sacrifice must make our God so so happy -- beaming really. See, last night, I didn't just hear God's people sharing love. I also heard and experienced the love of Christ for me, for you, and for people in southern Africa. Every time we give - with our time, money, hearts - to the things that God wants for us, we draw closer to him. Every time, without fail.

Over the past week, I've been overwhelmed by the needs I hear and see daily. Unable to stop the craziness that is life for children I have grown to love; love for local churches in southern Africa that you all allow me to minister to on your behalf - pastors caring for kids. My heart has been troubled by the reality that the need will always be greater than the resources we have as humans, but also feeling of doubts and disappointment for the kids I know about that we are yet unable to help. When we think of giving the world OUR love, it is easy for the tank to empty.

But -- Late last night, after the meeting, a dear friend wrote me some encouraging words that I now share with you. These words are my prayer for you, as well as the students I met last night.

Keep on doing what you're doing, brother. Don't grow weary in doing good because the good you are doing is overwhelming so many hearts that are feeling overwhelmed.

So, dear friends, as we ponder the tragic sacrifice of our savior on the cross this Friday, may we also take great delight in the redemption that Sunday will bring. The complete and utter shift in the way the world works --- the completely open opportunity offer up our souls to God to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May this short video on WHY I GIVE (see below) bring you joy, as you all bring me joy. Daily, like last night, I get to see and experience the love of Jesus Christ through you.

Happy Holy Week, as we await our risen savior, who came to save and redeem the world, including you and me. For that and for you, I'm thankful.