I have some confessions to make.
First off, I'm one of those millions of Christians living in America who donate time and money out of guilt and obligation. I have found peace of mind knowing that when I wrote a check, I could cross that off my list of "Christian things to do." Kind of a, "Whew! I'm glad that's taken care of" sort of attitude.
My next confession is that I'm absolutely paralyzed by the sheer enormity of the needs that exist in the world. I would often think to myself that I SHOULD do something more and would often talk about doing something more but was filled with self-doubt thinking, "what difference is it going to make anyway? I mean really, how is my pittance of a donation going to end poverty or cure aids or feed the World's hungry?"
Here's my last confession. I've held the opinion that I also struggle financially and my family's needs come first before anyone else gets a slice of my financial pie. Afterall, I've worked hard for what I have and I'm not about to put myself in dire straights because someone else didn't put in the same effort.
OK. Now that I've come clean, I have to admit that reading Hope Lives has changed my life and I don't make this statement lightly.
What this book has done for me is open my eyes and revealed to me what God has asked me to do; not from a position of guilt but rather from an expression of love and grace. Truth be told, I'm blessed. I mean truly blessed. Blessed that I live in America, blessed that I have the opportunities that I have and blessed that I've been given the God-honoring privilege to serve him. Through this book, my eyes were opened to the causes of poverty and I can honestly say that my heart has been changed and I'll never quite be the same.
In short, Hope Lives helped me recognize that God is on the move and he's weaving an amazing fabric that I play a small role in helping to weave. He isn't asking me to do EVERYTHING but he has put me in a time and place and has given the means to do SOMETHING. What I do with this opportunity is ultimately up to me.
The cover of Hope Lives refers to a "Journey of Restoration." I assumed "restoration" meant that the poor would be restored to self-sufficiency. What I didn't realize was that I was being restored and the greatest transformation was occuring within me.
I pray that this book does the same for you.