Friday, September 25, 2009

The "Radical Experiment"

Today's post is written by my precious husband, Todd.

He asked that I share this with you all, an email he recently sent to many on his email list.

As many of you know, we are members of The Church at Brook Hills, but are currently helping with a church plant in the Calera area. We continue to be amazed at the way God is working in and through the life of this Pastor and his amazing heart for Christ, and the poor throughout our World.

The Radical Experiment
Recently the Church at Brook Hills proposed the Radical Experiment; a one year proposal to radically change spending habits in order to benefit the poor and impoverished. After much prayer and discussion the decision was made to partner with Compassion International, a non profit organization that cares for the poor around the world for the glory of Christ. Before their trip to Compassion International’s headquarters the leadership at Brook Hills felt God leading them to focus their first efforts toward India, possibly the poorest, most impoverished nation on the planet, with almost half of its population living below the poverty level and less than one percent of its population being Christian.

After meeting with Compassion International the Brook Hills leadership asked them what they could do to help in India, expressing they felt God leading them toward India. Compassion answered by explaining that they needed the most help with their Child Survival Program. Although Compassion has a Child Sponsor Program, the children have to be at least five years old to qualify. The problem is that most children who live in extreme poverty seldom make it to the age of five and if they do they are usually mentally and physically challenged due to starvation and preventable disease.
Thus for most by the time they are five it’s already too late.

Compassion explained that the Child Survival Program was put into place to care for these children during this critical time. The program provides for the basic needs of both the child and mother through nutrition and medicines they need to survive. They explained they had twenty one of these programs in place but often lacked sufficient funding. It takes about twenty five thousand dollars annually to operate just one of these facilities and often churches will work together to support one or more Child Survival Programs.

Ladies and Gentlemen give praise to The Almighty God because the faith family at the Church at Brook Hills has provided funding for all twenty-one of these programs for the year! Through a radical commitment to God’s word and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the poor they alone have met this overwhelming need for all of India. So, if you think just one person or just one congregation can’t make a difference… think again!

I never cease to be amazed at what God can accomplish through the hearts of his people. I pray we would all follow the example of this faith family and give our resources and our lives for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is what the gospel looks like when somebody gets it right. (James 2:14-17)

By His grace and for His glory,
I (Lori) am reading through Howard Dayton's book Your Money Counts - Now More Than Ever and, as God would have it, today's chapter is on giving, and talks about our responsibility to the poor. Expounding on Matthew 25:34-45, he writes,
"In some mysterious way that we cannot fully comprehend, Jesus personally identifies with the poor. If that truth is staggering, then the reciprocal is terrifying. When we do not give to the poor, we leave Christ Himself hungry and thirsty."
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliott, martyred missionary to Ecuador
Abiding in His AMAZING GRACE!!!


Debra said...

I would like to add an additional note about where the money has come from to provide for India...BH leadership has watched our giving and our spending this year, seeing that our giving was under our budget needs. So they started asking those in leadership to cut back spending. In doing this, our church had a surplus of $525,000 --- which equaled the amount to fund the Child Survival program in India for one year! Coincidence? Hardly! And,this is BEFORE we implement the RADICAL EXPERIMENT for 2010!! It excites our family to see what the Lord is going to do in the year ahead.

Anonymous said...

Good one on leadership and it helps a lot.

Karim - Mind Power

Lori McGuire said...

Another note from Todd -
Richard Stearns, current president of World Vision, when speaking of Jesus' affiliation with the poor in his book, The Hole In Our Gospel, says when he goes into these poor and impoverished areas its there that he finds Jesus "in his most distressing disguise".
He who has done it to the least of these...