Friday, June 01, 2007

A living church is a caring church

“According to UN statistics, the number of destitute people (who survive on less than 1 US dollar a day) is about 1,000 million, while the average number who die every day of hunger and hunger-related causes, is said to be about 24,000. How can we live with these statistics? Many of the poor are our brothers and sisters. The Holy Spirit gives his people a tender social conscience. So those of us who live in affluent circumstances must simplify our economic lifestyle – not because we imagine this will solve the world’s macro-economic problems, but out of solidarity with the poor.
So then a living church is a caring church. Generosity has always been a characteristic of the people of God. Our God is a generous God; his church must be generous too.”
John Stott in his 50th book: The Living Church – Convictions of a lifelong pastor


Art said...

This is a huge problem. I've read statistics that are even worse - that as many as 36000 die a day and 75% of them are under the age of 12.

Carol L. Douglas said...

My daughters were certainly shocked by their trip to the Dominican Republic this spring. Although we’ve seen photos, they weren’t prepared to see children foraging in garbage dumps, families living in tin shacks, or people dying in moldy, unequipped hospitals.

They left here as typical American teenagers and came home with a far different idea of what is necessary for a happy life. Since that time, they’ve kept the goal of helping the Haitian refugees front and center in their mind.

This weekend we did a tag sale as a fundraiser to buy transfusion blood for the Dominican Republic. Our goal was $1200 (from reselling the detritus that collects in people’s attics, basements, etc.) I told my mother that the scale of need made me despair—we could work all weekend and then one person could bleed out that entire $1200 of blood. My mother (a retired nurse) exclaimed “But to save a life for $1200! That’s such a bargain!”

My Jewish neighbor elaborated with a quote from the Talmud: “To save one life is as if you have saved the world.”

We raised $1650 in three days. I can scarely believe it--keep thinking I've counted wrong. Praise God for His generosity and goodness!

Panda said...

Great to hear this, Carol! Praise God!