An update from Africa
What do you say when poverty is staring you in the face, when need and desperation are all around you, where do you start when there seems no end to the despair and the needs are relentless.
Today that was the situation that faced me and our team as we went into the slums of Kibera where they estimate one million people are currently living in abject poverty
Yet as we walked down the streets piled high with rubbish and sewage, a young girl took hold of my hand. She was ten years of age: the same age as my own daughter, her name is Blessing.
Blessing was a child who was sponsored through the work of compassion and for Blessing that sponsorship had provided hope, education and an alternative to the life that was all around her. Blessing may only be one child but how many more children like Blessing could we help if more children were sponsored.
Today as I stood in the offices of Compassion in the project they run in this slum, the workers asked if we could sing and worship. As we stood signing ‘what a friend I have in Jesus’ it became all too clear again that when words fail us, He does not, when hopelessness is all around, He is the hope that reaches deep within. Though poverty was everywhere they had found a richness in Jesus.
Then I realized all over again they did not need my words, they needed our actions. Our best gift was not the things we would say but what we would do once we left. And so today a new journey began. Though I have worked with Compassion for many years, today we again affirmed that we wouldn’t allow distance to dampen our determination to do more and help more. That we will continue where we can to use our voice for the voiceless and create more opportunities for others to join us as we join Compassion in changing the future of a generation
So get ready Cherish 2014 to see more of this amazing work and we pray you too will be inspired to work with Compassion UK. It has been said many times that we can’t do everything but we can all do something. But this is not just a cliche, it’s the truth, and children like Blessing are the living proof that somebody’s something has changed her world.
So my friends would you pray with me today for those you may never meet but they need you to lift them in prayer. To consider if you could help as we seek to be a part of the answer to a problem many simply ignore.
I pray that these children would not only know they have a friend in Jesus but that they will know they have a family in him too that are rallying across the world to play their part and be a blessing so we can reach more children like Blessing.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.