Monday, September 5, 2016
As I was reading the news story about Alan Kurdi's family and how they are doing one year after Alan's tragic death it made me think about where I should be going next. We were all upset one year ago and like the Toronto Star writes the conscience of Canada and the world was awaken to the Syrian refugee crisis after the news about 3-year-old Alan's death. Alan's aunt Tima Kurdi, who lives in Canada, says in the Toronto Star's September,2 2016 issue: "It was very hard and emotional for me with the reality we live it, that it took a tragedy until somebody would take action,"Kurdi said. "It's the power from God to wake up the world to help the suffering people," added Kurdi.
My husband and I decided to get together with a small Anglican church in Toronto and privately sponsor a family of four Syrian refugees to come to Canada last fall. Together we were able to raise enough money to sponsor this family with a mom, a dad, a toddler and a baby to come to Canada and to support them in every way for a full year. You can't help everyone, but you can help someone.
As the new school year begins next week it's time for us to start thinking about what our role should be for the upcoming year. As Christians we all carry a great responsibility on our shoulders, from the day we become saved by Christ we no longer live for ourselves, we live to serve God and to follow in Jesus' footsteps. God loves us dearly and because he loves us he saved us and healed us, but he didn't save us just so we could go on living "happily ever after" as saved Christians. God wants us to live joy-filled lives but our lives are no longer just about us. God saved us because He loves us, but God also saved us so that through us He can save and heal others. God doesn't just love us, He loves the whole world.
Every year each one of us has a responsibility to think about how we are spending our time, money, resources and gifts in our lives this year. How much are we spending on ourselves and how much are we spending on helping others? God blesses us so that we can bless others, not just keep it all to ourselves. Every year my husband and I make a plan for how we want to use what we have been given in three different categories. We ask ourselves: "What should we focus on in our inner circle, in our community and internationally this year?" Each year we want to take part in some form of outreach project internationally and in our own city where we live. We also ask ourselves what our focus should be in our inner circle this year. Who is going through a tough time among our family and friends this year that we might need to prioritize above others? What outreach program that does work internationally do we want to focus on supporting this year? What outreach project can we support and volunteer at in our own city this year?
It's a big world and we can't do everything. It's wise to pick three or four outreach projects per year where we can volunteer and support the ministry, more than that and the quality of the work will go down. When we all come together supporting different organizations and volunteering at different positions, together we will make a big impact. From the day God saves our souls our lives become a mission, a mission to serve the poor and needy around us wherever we are. Complacency is no longer an option available. Jesus demands us to love our neighbors as ourselves and we love others by serving them. Who will you serve and fight for this year?
Love your inner circle, love your city & love the world. That's the "job description" for life on this Earth.