In 2014, Save the Children, a UK-based nonprofit organization, released a shocking video. In one minute and thirty seconds you witness a year in the life of a young girl and her family. The initial scenes are full of joy—the family sings happy birthday. The young girl goes to school and plays with friends. But it quickly grows dark. You overhear a TV news anchor mention a recent outbreak of violence. Fear casts shadows over the parent’s once carefree smiles. One night the girl wakes up to the sound of gunfire and bombings. 35 seconds after the initial birthday singing you watch the family rush to pack their belongings to escape coming airstrikes. In under one year, the family went from living a “normal” life to being refugees.The video is hard to watch. Which then begs the question, why watch it at all? At the end you see the reason, “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.” The current refugee crisis is staggering. Millions of people have been forcibly displaced...
It all began with a conversation.
A young boy with disabilities was living nearby, and he and his family desperately needed care. When disability ministry volunteers arrived, they met little White and his mother Olivia. Olivia was stretched thin caring for her six children, and the whole family was malnourished.
White could barely sit up by himself, let alone walk. His stomach was distended and his hair was the distinctive rusty color of malnourished children. Volunteers knew they could offer physical aid but realized that a deeper level of care was also needed.
For decades, Builders For Christ volunteers have used their construction skills to bless churches and schools here in the United States and abroad. Meanwhile, our Build Up: Mentoring Teens in Trades program is only a few months old. Teens in this program have little to no construction knowledge and want to establish a better life for themselves.
As Builders For Christ (BFC) volunteers help Build Up program participants gain valuable construction skills, participants from Build Up will in turn be able to help with BFC projects. While something like this might sound idealistic, I’ve seen that it’s possible.
Family in Chile extends beyond the boundaries of the home. It welcomes neighbors, colleagues, and people you see at church. I remember when my husband and I first arrived in Chile, we hardly knew anyone. Yet when church members Ariel and Erika came to welcome us, we immediately felt like part of their family.
A dear friend and colleague of mine understands that deep personal connections bring community together. While I am programmed to look for outcomes and always am on the move, she reminds me to savor the moments we have with others.
There are many misconceptions surrounding Christianity in Japan.
Some view it as a cult while others see it as a mostly western religion with little reason to be in the country at all. In the 17th century, Japan’s efforts to root out all Christianity meant thousands of Japanese Christians were killed, tortured, or eventually renounced their faith. Since then, Christianity has remained a fringe religion with only about 1% of Japanese people claiming to be Christian.
But through persistence and patience, I’ve seen God open up new doors for Kingdom Workers to serve.