This past month we did a series called “Get Uncomfortable.” I spoke about social justices going on around the world for purpose of creating awareness and how God is working through them. We talked about how meeting a need required Christ to be involved, otherwise we are just making others comfortable for a season. We are to sustain people through the Gospel along with the resources that convey the love of Christ. We are called to be compassionate which means to “suffer with” instead of just having empathy.
However, this post is not about the series but what happened as a result. I rarely ask students to give money from the stage. This time was different. I wanted the students to truly understand what “suffering with” truly means. That can only come from self-sacrifice. The first night a former student donated pizza (First Wow!). We called for donations to Haiti as a result. To be honest, I was hoping for $100. Instead 76 students gave $428. (Second Wow!)
Next, we looked at everything we spend money on. We were to write down everything we spent money on in the past week and find ways to “cut the excess.” I talked about an organization called Hope International and how microfinancing provides loans to start small businesses through families. $100 is given to a family who are required to pay it back (interest-free) within six months. After the business is self sustaining the loan is then given to another family…and then another…and so on. The value of $1 is tremendous in that situation. That night we had over $200, many of which were $1 bills, given. We are now helping 4 families sustain themselves every year. (Third Wow!)
On the last week we worshiped through different stations where we burned our baggage (literally), wrote letters to orphans from Haiti, painted our thoughts of injustice, and studied verses about the poor and abandoned. At the end of the night I showed this video from Catalyst about how a sponsored Compassion International kid was able to meet his sponser after twenty years. I asked the students to sacrifice one meal a month and give $5/month until they graduate to sponsor a child as a whole community. I could not believe that the USF BCM is sponsoring two children as a result! (Fourth Wow!) What’s crazy is that after all that three more individuals also sponsored children. (Fifth Wow!)
I was blown away by the generousity and love of these students.
$428 – Haiti
2 – $100 small biz loans = 4 families/year
5 – Kids who will live, get educated, have a roof
I can’t wait to give you all updates about what we as a community are doing around the world! (I’m creating a blog that will have all of these updates)