______________.

I couldn’t begin to think about a title for this post. This may get long, and I’m sorry for that, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

What sparked this post was a break-out session at Passion Conference that really made me begin to think.

The session was on worship and justice and how together these things MUST work together. The people leading the session were awesome. To throw out a few names: Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Joel Houston and someone new to me, Marilyn Skinner.

All of these people have a huge heart for the Lord and they emit that. They aren’t about themselves, but what they can do in their short stint on earth to follow and do as Christ would have them to.

First of all worship is everything you do for the Glory of God. And part of this act of worship is finding JUSTICE for those who don’t own it. I so often get in my fancy car, plug my headphones into my iphone, watch my television and use my macbook pro without a thought as to what a priviledge these things are. At passion my mind was really opened to the gravity of  the horror of the living conditions around the world.

Many of you saw the blindside and saw how “Big Mike” was thankful for his first bed. I was shocked by the fact that that could be a true statement.

And then, I started investigating Uganda.

This is just a few of the THOUSANDS of children that sleep in empty bus depots at night.

This annihilates my heart.

These children commute, many for miles and miles, from their homes outside of town into the city everynight. Why? Because they are afraid that if they sleep in their own homes at night, they will be kidnapped and forced to be child soldiers. Child SOLDIERS. Soldiers, weapon holders. Why should a child have to brand a gun? Why should a young boy have to kill his own brother in front of other kidnapees to set an example for obedience without question? Why? Why is this happening? Who could do this? Who could watch this happen? Who could let this go on for as long as it has?

Sinners.

We are ALL sinners. We ALL fall short of the glory of God and always will.

But who are we to sit on our comfortable sofas, watching our large screen televisions, with the love of Christ in our hearts and the Holy Spirit posessing our bodies and not go to the world. Who are we that Christ is mindful of us and we are not mindful of the broken children in our world?

I have never been to Africa. But Marilyn Skinner has. (Story and info found here: http://www.watoto.com/) She and her husband went to Africa to start a church in the southern part of Uganda, the safe(r) part. Then, they went north to Gulu, found an infant on a trash heap and their world fell apart. God called them to be his hands and feet for the Children of Uganda that need redemption and rescue. They started the Watoto villages where they train up these ex-child soldiers to have a real life, to have holy ambition and to serve God. These children cry now. They used to show no emotion because they might be shot and killed. But, now, they can cry. They can show their pain and cry out to God with no boundaries, because they’ve been redeemed. They learned about the Lord and that Marilyn and her husband were sent by Him. How awesome is that?!?

I do NOT want to be a Christian that only writes stories on the web and doesn’t do anything real. But, the reality is I don’t feel called to Africa quite yet. I beleive one day that call will come for me, but for now, I believe it my place to raise awareness of what is really goinig on, what we can do from our plush America.

1*

Pray.

God wants to hear you cry out to Him and mean it.

2*

Give.

There are already people over in Uganda and other areas of Africa working, but they need funds and that’s the reality of it.

3*

Go.

Be the hands and feet of Jesus and Go there to serve, if you feel led.

4*

Investigate and Inform.

Gain knowledge so that you aren’t ignorant of what’s really going on.

I am SO ready for God to use His church to redeem these Children.

In the words of Joel Houston, “We are called to be love if we are in Christ, and this Love sure ain’t sexy.”

Resources:

Part of the Watoto Story-

Passion (268 Generation)’s Giving Campaign

http://www.onemillioncan.com

Invisible Children and the Story of Uganda’s War Ravaged Children

(This is a long documentary- 1hr but VERY worth the time)

Love Peace and Justice for Everyone in Christ Jesus,

Biz

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2 responses to “______________.”

  1. Morgan says :

    So, I definitely stumbled upon your blog by keeping up the #passion2010 hashtag on Twitter.

    For the past week and a half I have been hung on a Word document, where I have started a blog very similar this one that you have posted. I feel like I was so naive before and in such a small amount of time I have been overwhelmed with so much knowledge about the hurt and poverty going on all over the world. I am having such a hard time expressing how it all makes me feel.

    I am having a hard time explaining how passionate I have become about the less fortunate, but I can’t really tell anyone what I have done with that passion. As a college student, I feel like all I can do is use my voice. I don’t have income, my parents are paying for me a private school education, and my time is consumed by class, homework, college tennis, and a social life. I literally live in the HEART of the bible belt: Abilene, Texas, where in a town of 114,000 people, there are 3 Christian universities, the most churches per capita and the most non-profit organizations per capita than any other city in the United States.

    Why do I feel so un-enabled? Why am I heartbroken for the African AIDS crisis, and why am I still crying over photos of the Haitians–when there is so much I can do here in my college town, here in my own back yard?

    I almost feel guilty being an advocate for Africa or for Haiti when there are starving children living within a mile from my apartment complex.

    What am I supposed to do with all of this?

    In a nutshell (I am really bad at the whole nutshell thing, obviously) I am still digesting and dealing with what I have taken away from Passion. It’s not easy. Maybe I will have my blog up soon if I can bring it around full circle and have it make a little bit of sense to any one but myself.

    “Be Still..” Ps. 46:10

    Morgan

  2. Ashley says :

    Thanks for this post, Elizabeth. When I think of the wicked things that are happening to children around the world, my first question is always, “Where is the Church?” Why are we not responding, and what should we be doing? I believe, as Christians, we have the responsibility to take action. Our enemies are not flesh and blood; this is spiritual warfare. I think we forget that God really does hates hunger and poverty, and one day He will make an end of all these things. For now, He uses us as His hands and feet to minister to the poor and suffering. It’s encouraging to read about the Skinners, who are waging war on God’s enemies. I’m just thinking out loud, but thanks again for posting this. I’m glad the Lord is working these things out in your heart.

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