Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a faithful minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, led the non-violent movement in protest of the incredible force of racism against African American citizens during the 1950s and 1960s. He not only radically changed America, but also inspired the world through his leadership in social justice and through his passion for equality. Dr. King was martyred on April 4th, 1968.
Today, we celebrate his life and ministry. As the IDES staff family reflected upon Martin Luther King, Jr.'s teaching and legacy, we were reminded of his deep love of the Lord Jesus, and of his willingness to stand up for those who were poor and suffering.
Several years ago, over 600,000 people fled rural Afghanistan due to civil war and the soviet occupation of the country and settled in Pakistan.
In recent months, the political relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been deteriorating. As violence caused by the Taliban continues to impact the most vulnerable communities, the shifting accusations of blame for the existence of the terrorist group only worsens the situation.
I really enjoy perusing thrift shops.
Whether it be a Goodwill or a mom-n-pop antique store, I find it fun to dig through the interesting items for the home and innumerable articles of clothing. It's like a treasure-hunt. Unfortunately, it seems I can't walk into a thrift shop without leaving with something in my hands.
"This sweater is truly unique," I think to myself. Or, "I'd never find a cool old lamp like this in a department store...and it's only five bucks!" I find myself reasoning. It's most often an item that I really didn't need. I just wanted it, and it was inexpensive. Since I found it under piles and piles of junk, it feels like buried treasure to me. Unfortunately, my heart starts to take pride in the uniquities. I start to tighten my grip around these possessions, and they take on a silly emotional value. They are "mine" now! Then, a passage of Scripture like the following hits me like a Mack truck.
From the outside, the situation for Burmese refugees settled in Mae Sot, Thailand can look quite hopeless.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in Myanmar, fleeing the brutal violence that has been occuring between several warring militias in the country for several decades now. Many of these families have settled in landfills and dumps, building "homes" using whatever salvagable items that they can, and collecting recyclables to sell for pennies. Hunger and disease run rampant.
On top of that, the area that these camps are in sustains monsoon-level rainfall almost every year, which often damages the meager homes and destroys what few crops had been growing. But, by the grace of God and thanks to your partnership, there is hope.
2016 has passed, and what a rollercoaster of a year it was!
There were many ups, and many downs. There were many victories, and many defeats. There were moments of great joy, and moments of great sorrow.
Throughout the past year, you and I have been through quite a bit. We have each learned, lived, and loved. We have each taken steps forward in certain ways, and fallen backward in others. As I sit and reflect with those that I love upon 2016, one theme continues to present itself in conversation: the desire to "start fresh."
After the storm passes and the news stations stop reporting about the needs of an affected community, it is all-too-easy to forget the plight of those who are still suffering. The recovery process takes much longer than news stations care to report.
Hurricane Matthew was an absolutely devastating disaster for communities throughout Haiti. It will take more than just a few weeks to rebuild and recuperate. Thanks to your partnership with us, IDES is able to continue serving families who have been affected, in Jesus' name.
Hurricane Matthew was the worst humanitarian crisis in the country of Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Thousands of families sustained severe damage to their homes and possessions, many being completely destroyed. The 140+ mph winds wreaked havoc upon local schools, medical clinics, and church facitlities. Hundreds lost their lives due to the flash flooding and structural collapses. "Tragedy" is an understatement for describing this catastrophe in such a poor nation.
Immediately following the storm, you along with many other IDES supporters generously donated, allowing IDES the opportunity to provide several different local mission partners in Haiti with over $100,000 in aid. We are blessed by the many stories now being reported by our mission partners on the ground regarding all of the good that your gifts are doing for those affected by the hurricane. Of course, we wanted to share the uplifting details with each of you in a two-part series of updates in place of our weekly Project Stories. Today (12/22/16) is Part 1, and next Thursday (12/29/16) will be Part 2.
It's only a few more days until we celebrate one of the most significant events in universal history.
It's Christmas. God became man. Cue the corny carols, chintzy tinsel, and materialistic shopping sprees! Now wait just a second. Are we doing this right? Is this really all we do to celebrate this incredible event?
God became man. Am I the only one who feels like we sometimes gloss over the magnificence of this?
It was a hard summer for the people of Kenya.
For nearly 5 months, not a single drop of rain fell upon the farmland of the families of the Pokot region. The drought was long and the effects were severe. Crops were dried up from the previous harvest season, stored food had run out, and the most vulnerable family members like children and the elderly were desperately hungry. Malnourishment was wreaking havoc amongst the families, with many turning to eating certain kinds of dirt and clay due to the very trace amounts of vitamins found in the dry soil.
They prayed for emergency food assistance. They prayed for a new supply of crop seeds to plant. They prayed for rain.