Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How could America change the world?

How could America change the world?

Let me start by being clear about my love for all the amazing testimonies of grace that flow out of the western world and especially out of the US. From feeding the poor, to serving orphans, to protecting the widow, I am amazed at all we are up to in the name of Jesus. So this note is not about what is not being done, but instead what IS/CAN be done.

This week my brother in-law shared with me part of his story on how his family is affecting the lives of 4 adults And 3 kids on the other side of the globe. His story is so profound and so life shifting, that it has messed up my perspective and must be told to any and all that will listen.

Last year through a series of very random events online, my brother in law met a family from the Philippines. At first like anyone should be with online these days, he was skeptical at best to their need and their real reason for reaching out to him. However, something kept drawing him to reach out to them in very small ways. So eventually he began to ask the Lord, is this something He is up to?

This family lives in a cinderblock shack near Manila so their needs are fairly endless. In this need they have a real hunger for the gospel, so my brother and his family have been sharing the gospel and dealing with the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs they have, little by little.

From bibles, to a fridge, to college transportation, over time my brother in-laws family has found that a very insignificant amount of American $ can go a long way in the Philippines. In fact he has figured out that $100 a month wired to this family guarantees they all get meals for that month. By providing for food the family, they can use their income to upgrade their home and their lives, little by little.

The oldest daughter is fighting her way through college, so my brother in-law raises $ to make sure that she has the supplies, food, and transportation she needs each month, by the way this totals $150 a month. Literally in one generation this family’s life style will change by simply having a college graduate in their home.

Every once in a while a big need will come up, like surgery or a hospital visit, which must be prepaid. So my brother in law tells the story and his work buddies jump in to help. Just recently this team at his job raised just over $400 to pay for this surgery, that’s right $400 American for surgery and recovery in the hospital in the Philippines.

What both impresses and amazes me about this influence on this family is that my brother in-law is not rich by American standards. He is a hard working, very ok with being regular, blue collar worker that works with specialty woods shop all day long. He has a home, a family, and a church family he cares for, and does so quite well.

Yet he gets it. Americans are so blessed no matter their financial status, we live in abundance. So what if 1% of the American families adopted a family in another part of the world? Approximately 1 million families globally would be moving towards a change. The natural turn would be the gospel exploding in greater ways all over the world?

How can America change the world? 1 family at a time, 1 need at a time, 1 gospel story at a time.