Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I have been in a jungle in Thailand, where families live in shacks made of rotting wood, each built 3 feet above ground because every rainy season the entire village floods —taking lives and possessions away in the frantic current. I have seen how the families there endure the stifling heat, with little food to eat. Children, lethargic from lack of energy, don’t run or climb the massive trees that would provide perfect perches. Many of them work in the rice paddies to provide for their families.
I have been to Kenya, and sat with a family of five in their tiny 12x 14 home made of mud. I watched as the mother doled out one piece of bread to each family member for dinner. I saw her hungry children playing beneath the clothes-line with the only toys they had — clothespins. I saw where they sleep…mom, dad and three children, on one moldy mattress on the dirt floor.
In Bolivia, I met a four-year-old named Lalady. For some reason, I was drawn to her. I saw her across the playground at a Compassion project. I smiled. Within seconds, she was in my lap, touching my face with her sticky fingers…marveling at the color of my hair. We played together for nearly an hour. There was no language barrier. We just enjoyed each other's company. Then, her father came to pick her up at the project.
“She likes you.” He said in Spanish. (I know this only because there was an interpreter.)
“And I like her very much too!” I said.
“Maybe you could take her home with you.”
“Ha! Yeah! I wish I could!” I joked. Only daddy wasn’t joking. His face was serious.
“I have four other children. You could give her a much better life than I can.”
Whoa. What desperation leads a man to be willing to let his child go away with a stranger? How much love does he have for his daughter, that he’s willing to give her up, just so she can have a chance at a better life? I sat there, with little Lalady on my knee, my lip and chin quivering and my eyes filling with tears. My forehead sweating in the brutal Peruvian heat. My heart breaking.
And Lalady was one of the lucky ones. She has both parents who love her very much. She also has a sponsor that pays $32 a month to make sure she’s taken care of at the Compassion project. There, she gets a hot meal, a safe place to play. She learns about health and hygiene. More importantly, she hears about Jesus.
There are literally millions of children who need just those basic things: a hot meal, clothing, a safe haven, after-school mentoring…to hear the Gospel. You could do that for one of them. For a price that’s less than taking a family to the movies for two hours of entertainment, you can provide all of those basic life-giving necessities for a child in poverty for an entire month.
I urge you to go to Compassion's website and sponsor a child. It really is the least you can do. And I’ll be more than happy to share with you just how strategic it is. How much it changes a life. But you won’t have to take my word for it. You’ll get letters from your sponsored child, thanking you…little hand-drawn pictures telling you about his/her life. And you’ll be able to write too…and share your life with that little boy or girl on the other side of the world.
It’s a relationship.
It’s a privilege. And yes…this privilege will break your heart. Isn't it time your heart was broken?
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
As I look back on my spiritual journey, I realize how much of my life has been like that mayonnaise sandwich. I had the bread, but not much to put in the middle. My early walk with Christ was encapsulated in the only two things I really knew about Jesus:
But I knew very little about the middle of the sandwich. What happened between birth and death? What did Jesus do with His time here on earth?
We can grow so complacent in our spiritual journeys that we forget about the middle of the story. And frankly, part of that may be the fault of the Church. Pastors--not all of them, but many--find it easy to talk about the bread. Sermons about how Jesus was born...and how He died for our sins are abundant. It's an easy topic to give the body. But what about the middle?
A recent Barna poll found that more than 50% of church-goers in the US said they had not heard a single sermon about ministering to the poor over the past year. Over 50%! But so much of what Jesus did was ministering to those who were hungry, thirsty, hurting, sick, lame, blind...poor. Jesus spent the better part of His ministry addressing those needs. And He told us to do likewise. Why isn't the Church teaching about the middle?
Seems to me that ministering to the poor ought to be the MOST preached topic in the Church today...not one of the least. If we truly want to be Christ-like, and we should, then let's start teaching Christ's message to the Church. Let's start doing what Jesus told us to do...and start serving the poor.
There are so many ways to get involved:
- Volunteer in a homeless shelter.
- Serve food to the poor at a soup kitchen.
- Sponsor a child living in poverty.
- Give to your church's food pantry.
There's something every person can do. Jesus told us to do it. Anything less...is just a mayonnaise sandwich.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
He cried as they scrambled his little body over to a warmer a few feet away...and started cleaning him up. Tears filled my eyes. "That's my son! Oh...and he's beautiful!" My poor wife had to lay there behind the blue curtain, still unable to see anything. So, once they got him cleaned up, I carried our son over to her and let her touch his face. The waterworks were flowing for both of us at that point, I tell ya! They had to sew Jen up and then she had to go into recovery from the operation. That took three hours. Three hours without getting to hold her newborn son. It must have been excruciating for her. But I spent every second of those hours with him...as he took his first bath...got his vaccinations...tested for every imaginable abnormality...and weighed him. "Five pounds...3 and a half ounces. He's a little peanut." nurse Libby said. "18 inches long. What a cute little guy." Yep, he's a tiny guy....but absolutely adorable. Once all the tests were done, I sat in a rocking chair with him for an hour...and we just stared at each other. "Morgan...I'm your daddy." It was the same sentence I started with every night, as I spoke to him through my wife's belly during her pregnancy. Now, I finally get to see the face of the little boy I was addressing...and he could see where the voice was coming from. It was an amazing time of bonding. I truly have fallen in love. I've wanted to be a daddy for so long and now God has granted me this wish...this little blessing that is the result of years of prayers. It is amazing. The most wonderful day of my life. Welcome to our world, little Morgan Douglas Glenn. We've waited a long time for you.
For more information on Tim Glenn, go to www.timglennmusic.com