I attended a dinner for Eastern European Missions last night. Dino Roussos spoke as well as Richard Baggett who I believe was from the Bammel Road church of Christ. God is at work. The former communist countries are begging for Bibles. 1.5 million school children in Eastern Europe/Russia have received Bibles and there are more on the way. Camps that used to be used to indoctrinate kids into communism are now being used to reach children with the Bible! The Muslims are collecting money right now to compete with this effort as Russia and Eastern European countries seek to fill a void that communism left. Their dream and goals of communist society have vaporized and they have been left directionless and with children who have nothing to turn to but crime. They are asking for help. The president of Ukraine has pledged to have Christianity (specifically through EEM) help give his country direction starting with the children. Radio and television programs have been running with a potential listening audience of over 30 million people. The programs give information on how to receive free Bibles and materials. In the first three broadcasts they gave away over 30,000 Bibles! It continues to grow.
Richard made this comment – What if history had been different. What if it turned out that they were the ones who had the Bibles and we didn’t. What if we were dependent upon Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Bulgaria to receive Bibles? Wouldn’t you hope they would think it was important enough to find a way to send Bibles to us?
If you are looking for something to support, this is a tremendous effort. They are opening warehouses in various countries to help with supply. They estimate 200-300 churches have sprung up in the last 8 years all over that region. For $30 you can supply one family with a “Bible bundle” – a packet with a Bible and other translated literature to help people start walking with Christ. Keep them in your prayers because the world is changing before our eyes.
The second thing I wanted to point out is The Village of Hope.
Village of Hope
P.O. Box GP 18169
Accra Ghana, West Africa
I was fortunate enough to meet Fred Asare, director of Village of Hope, on several occassions in Memphis through some mutual friends. We had a great talk over a Fred Asare special, Red Red. What they are doing in Ghana with street children and slaves is incredible. Have a look at their newsletters and your heat will certainly be touched. Here is one from December 2006 about freeing children from slavery. The United States sends so much money to Africa that goes unused or wasted. Here is an opportunity to give to a cause where the money will be used with care and will go to further the kingdom. The last I heard they were $4,000 under their budget. It surprises me that in a world that continuously speaks out against the evils of slavery and neglect of children, an organization that is battling those very things on the streets of Ghana can go underfunded.
Even though I mentioned money in both of these. That is not all that it is about. This is about changing the world. This is about being salt and light. This is about living out our faith. This may even be a call to go. Go to the people who are hurting and help them find peace. Go to the people who no longer own their own lives, whether purchased by addiction or by a master, they need help.
Mordecai told Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” He told her that because she was in a position of power and could do something to save the oppressed. As Americans we have a privleged position in the world. We are the wealthiest people the world has ever known. With that power and wealth comes a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. Jesus had great power. He had enough power to conquer death and he did it even though it cost him his life. If we are to be like him, shouldn’t we be willing to use what power we have to deliver people from evil in whatever ways we can? Can we sit and play church for a moment longer while people are dying without the word of God? And I know many of you and your churches aren’t like that. I know many of you do a tremendous amount and I wouldn’t even dare ask you to do more. But some of us need a boost. Some of us need encouragement to be bolder, to get out of our comfort zones and do something that will change the world. They are waiting for us. Will you show up? Will you be there for them? Will you help in whatever way you can? The prophets criticized the rich for neglecting and oppressing the poor. Are we any better off to know the good we ought to do but hold on tightly to what we have instead? Phil 2 said Jesus emptied himself. I know that I am often too full of self and need to change. Here are some opportunities to make a difference and I don’t know what you are able to do. I just ask that you consider it. Heaven may never be the same because you went without fast food for a week and sent a Bible bundle to a family in Russia and they became Christians and shared with their friends and the cycle begins for those people.
There are so many worthwhile things to give to that it is impossible to do everything all the time. But don’t let that keep you from doing something, sometimes. Maybe not even either of these two, but something. God bless.