Musings from Nehemiah

Sometimes when I write, the words flow so quickly I cannot stop and when I am done I feel like a wrung-out dish towel. This is one of those times. I may have typed these words but I did not think them up…I was merely the pen. It is a little long but I hope you will read all the way through.

Oh, and you might want to buckle your seatbelt too.

“Sometimes I shield myself from finding out what’s really going on with people for fear I will be held responsible. Because with information often comes responsibility; if we know we might be required to do something” Kelly Minter

Has that ever happened to you? Or have you ever learned something before you had the chance to put your fingers in your ears and felt crushed by the need to take action?

Nehemiah *wanted* to know (Neh 1:2 he asked) and then he could not sit back and relax, he had to take action, had to do something.

Knowledge is dangerous. It changes us. Think about it. If no one ever told you “veggies are good for you, dessert is bad for you” you would not feel at all guilty when you pass by the bowl of broccoli and eat a plateful of cookies. But, true or not, someone did tell you that at some point and you probably think about it every time you put anything in your mouth. You may still choose to eat the plateful of cookies but now you feel guilty about. Am I right?

So when we see pictures of children playing soccer with some trash that they squished into a ball-shape and someone’s precious feet wearing flattened water bottles for shoes, we should feel compelled to do something. When we know there are children who do not know when they will eat again and others who will are being sexually exploited, we should feel burdened. We should have compassion that spurs us to action.

There is a problem though. It is easy to make excuses. There are millions of reasons why I can’t help. “We barely make enough to pay our own bills” is probably one of the first mentioned– I get that, I live that sometimes. But I am going to be blunt here, we all have little luxuries– probably things we may not think of as luxuries– that we could give up so we could give to others. Redefine the necessities of your life. Maybe it is giving up your daily stop at Starbucks or your regular trip to the salon for a mani/pedi. (please note: I am NOT condemning these things! Lord knows I love a little Starbucks and pretty toenails. I’m just suggesting that cutting back on these types of things would free up some extra funds in you budget) There is a book I’ve been wanting to read called A Place at the Table — the author challenges the readers to eat a diet similar to what would be available to a child in a poor country (think beans and rice, folks) for 40days and donating the grocery money you saved to an organization that provides food in one of those countries. Could you handle that? My point is this: even if our budget is tight we could find creative ways I come up with a few dollars to give each month. If we really wanted to.

So say you are already eating beans and rice for every meal and have never darkened the door of a Starbucks. What then? The way I see it you have 2 major ways you can still take action. Pray and share.

We tend to think of prayer as passive. Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t do anything but I will pray for you.” Really?? Prayer should be our #1! The first and biggest thing we can do! How about, “I have no money to give but I can lift you up to the God who rules over all things, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and who cares about you more than he cares for the birds and flowers and who has worked mightily on my behalf because I know He is faithful and will work mightily on your behalf!” Seriously, people! Some people can pray and give, some can pray and go, some can just pray but we should all pray!

We should pray. We should give. We should also SHARE.

You know because someone told you, now tell someone else. Forward the email, post on Facebook, tweet, blog, make phone calls, mail letters shout from the rooftops. Whatever works for you, just tell, spread the word. Because when the word spreads the Word can be spread and that’s what it is all about, am I right?

This is Great Commission stuff here. We need to be concerned about souls. People need Jesus and we need to tell them. But Jesus was practical. He met needs. Shouldn’t we follow His example?

I came across these statistics a while back. I read over them occasionally…especially when I feel like I am getting comfortable.

  • The total number of orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa is greater than the total number of children in Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Canada and Sweden.
  • “Worldwide, the State Department estimated that in 2010 there are 12.3 million adults and children in modern-day slavery – including forced labour, bonded labour and forced prostitution,”
  • Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • Every day 1,500 women die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth that could have been prevented. Each day 10,000newborns die within a month of birth, and daily the same number of babies are also born dead.
  • Roughly 12 percent of the world’s population, or 884 millionpeople, do not have access to safe water.
  • Worldwide, 161 million preschool children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
  • Florida is one of 9 states with a higher household food insecurity rate than the national average from 2008 – 2010 at 16.1%

Don’t believe we are blessed? Read about life in Ethiopia here. Read about slavery.

Now you know. What are you going to do about it?

Need ideas for how to help? Check out these opportunities:
Bring Love In – http://bringlove.in/sponsor-a-forever-family/

Mercy House – http://www.mercyhousekenya.org/

Compassion International – http://www.compassion.com/

http://www.thea21campaign.org/

The Children’s Malnutrition Center of San Juan, Guatemala

There are so many more!

I know some will say something along the lines of “we can’t help everyone everywhere.” That is true. Does that mean you will not try to help even one?

I am going to say it again…now you know…what are you going to do about it?

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One thought on “Musings from Nehemiah

  1. Jana says:

    It didn’t feel like this was long at all. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing, Heidi! I had never heard of the Mercy House before, and I’m so glad I checked into it!

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