Hope Moves.

Over the past 48 hours, we’ve debated, reposted, and used #butyouwanttotalkaboutleggings to sound the alarm on a host of issues that are making our stomachs churn and our hearts break. A community of women and men that want so much more than trivial debates have banded together, fiercely determined to stand for the people that Jesus Himself stood for.

It’s breathtaking.

The gospel radically transforms our hearts, and makes us unrelentingly passionate about the things that Jesus is passionate about. It propels us into darkness. It moves us from the comfortable to the unimaginably shattered. It gives us hope. And friends, hope gets off the couch. It gets out from behind the computer screen and dives headfirst into the wreckage. Hope moves

Words ring empty when they’re all we offer —and even the most horrifying statistics soon fade into the dull roar of the internet. A hashtag alone does nothing for men and women fighting to cling to hope in the midst of unspeakable pain. We are called to more.

God intends for His Church to be at the forefront of every social justice issue facing the world today. During the abolitionist movement in the 1830’s, approximately ⅔ of the abolitionist leaders were Christian clergymen–and the sheer beauty of that overwhelms me. It’s a brilliant display of the gospel to a watching world–partnering with Jesus in His restoration of every broken thing. We should find the Church today where I imagine we might find Jesus Himself–neck deep in the filth and pain of what sin has broken. Every Christian should be actively engaged in their local church–both through sacrificial financial giving and through“putting a spoke in the wheel of injustice”, as Bonhoeffer so aptly put it.

The issues raised over the past forty eight hours are gut-wrenching. When confronted with raw, ugly brokenness in the world, it’s easier to simply turn away—to move on to the next thing. But what if instead, today we pushed into that discomfort? What might happen if together, we stubbornly refused to look the other way, and instead chose to stare unflinchingly into the hard work ahead of us?

A friend of mine once told me that as long as Jesus is still out of the grave, there’s still hope. Friends, that means in the midst of the horror of ISIS, in a world where millions of children are orphaned and more are trafficked into brothels, when mothers don’t have clean drinking water for their children and daughters are stolen into tangled jungles—yes, even then, there is hope. And the thing that makes my heart beat wildly out of my chest? You and I get to be a part of it.

We have no desire to reinvent the wheel or storm the gates of communities that “need saving”. We are passionate about local, sustainable efforts to solve problems. We’re committed to listening, learning, and empowering, and we want to use our resources, time and voices to get behind organizations that are doing those things with excellence. Below, you’ll find a list of organizations that we trust, doing valuable work in areas of intense need. If you don’t know where to start, may we suggest you start here?

  1. Poverty. There are 1.3 Billion People living on less than 1.25 a day.

HOPE pictureHOPE International. HOPE invests in the dreams of men and women living in poverty all over the world by providing them with small loans and Christ-centered business training. Through the the provision of otherwise unavailable financial tools and training, HOPE empowers individuals to lift themselves out of poverty.

2.Education: There are 121 million children out of education world wide. 

Tanzania pictureTanzanian Children’s Fund (TCF)
- In partnership with the local government, TCF manage the local primary school, which is aimed at improving educational outcomes and providing opportunities for high achieving students to attend secondary school, and beyond.

3. Sex Trafficking: 20.9 million people are estimated to be enslaved in the world today.

Love146 pictureLove146: Love146 is an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care, prevention education, professional training and empowering movement.

4. Emergency Relief: Fourteen million Iraqis and Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid. Almost half are children.

One day's wagesOne Day’s WagesA grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. Learn how 0.4% (your one day’s wages) can make a dramatic impact.

5. Water/Sanitation: Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

WWater Missionater Mission International:They design and customize sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions to meet the needs of individual communities.

 

6. Women’s Health: Most maternal and newborn deaths can be prevented using existing, proven, cost-effective interventions.

First choiceFirst Choice Pregnancy Solutions: First Choice communicates accurate and truthful information to those affected by an unplanned pregnancy, and provides them with physical, emotional and spiritual support.

 

We have a responsibility to invest our voices where they are most glorifying to God and impactful in a dark world. And once we invest, we then need to move. Our calendars, bank accounts–and yes, sometimes our twitter feeds will all testify to what we care most deeply about. Your voice is limited–what are you going to get loud about?

Who else is doing excellent work? What are you already involved in? What do you plan to do? How are you watching hope move? Use #hopemoves to tell us on Twitter. Friends, let’s be a generation that moves.

[I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to abolitionists, activists and dear friends Heather Fischer and Jessica Haase, for researching, brainstorming and writing with me.]

 

 

 

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  1. […] Edit: Well friends, it would seem that yoga pants have broken the internet yet again. :) I’ve closed the comments on this one, because they derailed into a debate about the merits of spandex. Our goal here isn’t to debate modesty [though we believe modesty is important], but if you’d like to do that there are a number of comment threads floating around the interwebs where that is still up for discussion! Please join us on Twitter for #butyouwanttotalkaboutleggings to add to our list of things that merit our rally cry before yoga pants. If you like us, deeply desire for Christians to be known for doing more, please check out our follow up post for next steps.  […]