Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More Than Tears and Facebook Posts

So I don't know about you, but these days, I'm afraid to read the news.

Talk about a downer.

If you've read this blog for very long, you know that I grew up in Liberia.  A few weeks ago, you might have never heard of the place.  Now, everybody knows about it.

In fact, I grew up on the ELWA compound, home of ELWA Hospital--where Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol were serving when they contracted Ebola.  My dad, in fact, was chief pharmacist and then hospital administrator at the very same hospital in the 80's.

So you could say that this whole Ebola tragedy--even before the doctors got sick--has been hitting me straight in the heart.

And then there's the Iraqi Christians.  

Whew.  Talk about breaking our collective American Christian hearts.  Right?  Right?  Totally.

I've felt a dark cloud over my head the past few days.  I had a nightmare about being stabbed and I'm sure it's because I've spent so much timing thinking about this.  

And we pray.  And pray and pray and beg God to intervene.  Praying is good and necessary and I firmly believe it is the best work we can do on behalf of these people.  

But today I went to this link, which gives examples of organizations who are working in Iraq and need funds. 

I've been thinking about how God has called us Americans to other work besides only prayer:  the work of sacrificial giving.  

After all, we are, in fact, the richest people in the world.  And by "we," I mean anyone reading this.  If you are rich enough to own a computer, and you read English, you qualify.  

As in, we're princes and princesses.  Aristocracy of the world.  If you don't believe me, click here and enter your salary.  Please--it will give you the shock of your day.

Hey, I know that America is in some difficult financial times.  I get that.  Even this week, we came to the hard realization that we most likely will need a new transmission in our car.  Ugh.  I "get" difficult financial times.

But really?  Do I get "difficult" as in "run for your life to the mountains with only the clothes on your back, leaving behind the body of your daughter?"  Do I get "contracting a disease that gives you a 90% chance of dying a slow, painful death where your insides turn to mush?"  

I'll take the "problem" of a bad transmission, thank you very much.

This is the truth of it, friends.  It's easy to post the Nazarene symbol on Facebook.  It's easy to share news articles, and it's even easy to pray because it doesn't cost us much.  

But what I am asking myself today:  Do I care enough that it will affect my checking account?  Am I willing to sacrifice?  

Yes, it all makes me really sad and angry.  But do I really, truly care?  

I knew by writing this post that I would be required to include myself in this same category.  I was kind of afraid to write it, for that reason.  

But we must, must, must consider this question.  Did God make us rich because He loves us more?  Did He make us rich because we deserve happy lives?  Or did He give us what we have so that we can use it for His kingdom?  

What will I say when I stand before Him, accountable for everything He entrusted to me?   "Well, God, I posted the Nazarene symbol on Facebook.  I even shed a few tears on their behalf."  

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

To whom much has been given, much will be required.

This the link of Iraqi organizations, and this is one place where you can donate to help Ebola prevention and its victims.


  1. Thank you for this. I wish there were more Christian organizations to give to in the list of Iraqi relief organizations. The only ones that I can see are Samaritan's purse (where you can't specify giving to Iraqi relief) and SALT which has no way to give through the website (and from the website no credentials to make me know for sure they are who the site says they are).

  2. You can also give through Partner's International which has boots on the ground to work through local churches . Babu

  3. Sarah--
    I see what you are saying. I had not researched each organization listed. I re-posted the website from John Piper, which is why I felt I could do so without researching the first.
    It also is possible that some of these organizations are Christian, but unable to be explicit about that because they are working in Iraq. (But I am really not sure.)

    As I've written other times, I definitely firmly believe that any Christian donor needs to know as much as possible about the organization before they give, and I would encourage anyone to do their homework first.

    Usually we give through EFCA, because we trust them implicitly. They have a refugee fund for Syrians in Lebanon but I'm not sure if one is set up for Iraqi refugees yet.

  4. We were privileged to have a young Liberian mother who had moved to the United States worship with us for a while before her husband decided to become muslim and she had to divorce him. Her mother-in-law , a Christian, who is also from Liberia, visited us and we helped her to fill a container to take back to Liberia. She went back with a borrowed video camera and shot videos of all the villages she visited.

    I'm supporting Joel Rosenburg. He and his family have recently moved to Israel.

  5. That's neat that you have a connection to Liberia!

    And I am a little familiar with Joel Rosenburg. Thanks for the recommendation.