Every day injustice pours out of news headlines, and we’re inundated with figures that tell a story of a broken world. These statistics of war, modern-day slavery, disease and persecution can seem overwhelming. And we wonder where to even begin to address these issues.
But since the Church stands on the powerful hope of Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be overwhelmed. We can take a step back and realize that those overcoming these hardships are like us, broken people created by God with purpose and potential, and then we start to understand that we can unite with them to change the world.
In this, Pastor Andy Stanley reminds us that we have the ability to, “Do for one what we wish we could do for everyone.” Building relationships that last over time and difficulty, growing fruit of lasting transformation and doing justice together are all a part of this “doing for one” love that doesn’t wear out.
When the Deeper Life Bible Church in Malawi joined the fight against HIV/AIDS, the country had one of the highest HIV rates. But they didn’t aim to develop a cure. Instead, the ministry team made a plan based on their gifts: they gave their time and their resources to care for neighbors isolated by HIV. That’s where they met Consolata, a woman suffering from both the social and physical side-effects of the disease.
“No one was concerned with my life and my condition until the ministry team heard my story,” Consolata said.
Then, her neighbors began to serve through word and deed. They fed her. They clothed her. They visited her and included her in an HIV support group. Over time, Consolata’s physical condition improved – and she put her faith in Jesus Christ.
Today, as we commemorate World AIDS Day, we can report that Consolata has joined the same team that first cared so deeply for her. Now, she’ll be the one reaching out to others who are sick and neglected – passing on the gifts she received.
So, who is your “one”? And how will you begin to stand with them this Christmas season? For more information on how you can partner with World Relief and local churches throughout the world to empower the most vulnerable, visit worldrelief.org/donate.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.” – Galatians 6:9