We’ve just had Christmas. Lots of turkey, chocolate, cake and fun time with family. And often over Christmas we hear a lot about those in need, about how we need to help them ‘because it’s Christmas’.
But what happens after Christmas? Do these problems just go away?
Or do we just act like they’ve gone away?
To be honest, even as a Christian, the last thing I usually want to think about just after Christmas is another worthy cause. We hear about so many it’s easy to become saturated by them, and by the time the holidays are over we just want a break from them.
But the problems don’t go away. They are there, just the same.
Take the village of Tonle Batie in Cambodia. This is a small village which, every single day, has to deal with the realities of living in poverty. No running water. No sanitation. People go to the toilet in nearby fields, leaving people wide open to serious disease. Families there live hand to mouth, on less than 20p a day.
People like Gneam (pictured), a real, living, 65 year old woman who has been twice widowed and lost a son to malnutrition. A woman who lost all hope and purpose.
The problems in that community are real. They don’t end at Christmas. And no matter how uncomfortable this makes me, it an indisputable fact. And Jesus is concerned with these kind of issues. He doesn’t stop caring. And as a follower of Jesus, I can’t afford to stop caring either.
Fortunately for her and her community, there is hope.
Tearfund, a Christian charity, is running a project to bring food, sanitation, education and clean water to places like Tonle Batie. Tearfund’s partner International Cooperation for Cambodia (ICC) have begun work with the local church training members of the community to work together and maximise their resources – and the plan is to extend this training to the entire community.
Gneam’s life has been changed. She now has purpose, focus and meaning to her life again. Working with her local church, who’ve been working with ICC, she now plays an important role in her community. (Find out more about Gneam in the video below).
Changing the world is a phrase which is over-used. But in this case, it’s true. And £3 a month all it costs for us to change the world.
This is a challenge to me. In tough financial times for myself, for all of us, even an extra £3 a month sounds like a lot of money, and maybe it is to some of us. I’ll be honest, right now it is to me.
But this isn’t about me.
When you are non-fiction writer, you can become very inward-looking. But Jesus is about looking outward. He’s about loving your neighbour. Making sacrifices for the cause of justice. About using your gifts to serve those in need, not living in ignorance. It’s time for me to start looking outward again.
It’s time to use writing gift, my financial resources, and the gift of this blogging community, to make a difference. For example, if 60 people – just 15% of my subscriber list – gave £3 a month, this would help 70 families be trained on how to maximise their resources, have more food, get proper sanitation and pay for education for their families. That’s authentic change.
Change you and I can directly influence.
£3 a month transformes the lives of people like Gneam. It does real good. It changes the world. It makes Jesus real to people. It’s the kind of story I want to be part of. And the kind of story we were all created to tell.
So let’s do this together. I’ve committed to giving £3 a month to Tonle Batie. I want to invite you to as well. Yes, it may be a challenge. Yes, it might be uncomfortable. But I want to challenge you to seriously & prayerfully consider it.
Let’s make a small sacrifice to change the world. To tell a better story. To transform the lives of people like Gneam.
Are you with me?
(Picture & video source: Tearfund.org)