This Friday, October 21st, IDES' annual Gift Catalog newsletter will be published.
Within it, you will find dozens of "gift" items that faithful supporters just like you provide for families in need around the world every single year. These aren't ordinary gift items like we are used to, like restaurant gift cards, Yankee candles, or that new power tool we've had our eye on. Instead, they are items that will help the families and communities we serve to stand on their own two feet, such as clean-water wells, seeds for farming, and livestock animals. What kind of difference do these items make? We're glad you asked!
Within the current political climate of our nation, it is increasingly difficult to practice self-restraint when it comes to sharing our opinions via social media.
I think we can all admit to at least one particularly pointed "post", "tweet", or "like" we probably should have thought twice about. We might find ourselves asking, "It seems that everybody else is speaking their mind without a filter, right? Why can't I?"
Everyday, Mrs. Cruz wakes up in a make-shift shelter in a landfill near Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The first question she asks herself is, "How will my husband and I feed our children today?"
This is reality for around 600 families living in a landfill referred to as "Hoyo de Bartola" or "The Hole."
During the week after a major disaster such as Hurricane Matthew, it can be very difficult to remember and believe that God our Father does indeed care.
Death tolls are still rising, and long-term recovery efforts have only barely begun. The only word that I can use that accurately describes the effects of a disaster like this is "devastation." And for an impoverished country like Haiti, devastation is almost an understatement. Where does the God of love fit into all of this?
"He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
'Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!'"
- Psalm 46:9-10
South Sudan is the world's newest nation.
It was officially established as a country in 2011 independent of Sudan after decades of civil war. Ever since gaining independence, it has been suffering through vicious and violent inner turmoil. Some say the conflict is caused by fighting over abundant oil fields. Some say it is caused by competition over livestock. Most say that it is caused by political power struggle paired with deep-rooted ethnic differences.
No matter the cause, the current violence and often-failed peace treaties have forced more than a million people in the region to flee their home villages in search of safety. Unfortunately for these internally displaced families, the warring army factions have also closed off the borders with neighboring countries to which the families may flee. This makes transporting of any international aid supplies into South Sudan extremely difficult, and it makes fleeing the country from inside nearly impossible.
UPDATE - 10/13/16
IDES is in the process of providing over $100,000 for aid through our partners to victims of Hurricane Matthew in multiple countries, including Haiti and the U.S. This tragic disaster is an opportunity to tangibly show the world how Jesus Christ responds during times of crisis. Want to partner with us during the recovery process? Just text "helpIDES" to the number 76959!
I’ve always had a hard time visualizing large numbers. For example, the population of New York City is roughly nine million people. Considering how crowded some places can get in the City and how difficult it is to park a car there, my brain visualizes “a lot.” At the same time, when I’m in downtown Indianapolis, population nine hundred thousand, with less traffic and crowds than NYC, even after a sporting event my brain still visualizes “a lot.”
Because of my inability to see these large numbers, I have difficulty visualizing the refugee crisis around the world. When I hear about the number of displaced people, I think I downplay the seriousness of what they are experiencing . Many of them are on the run. They lack food, clean water, and clean bathrooms. They have to deal with sickness, diseases, and exposure. The choices we make usually involve something to do with our comfort. The choices that refugee families have to make could mean life or death for themselves or a loved one.
The 2016 NFL season is upon us. As you watch your favorite team compete with their rivals I would like to direct your attention to one particular group of people who make that game (and every other football contest) possible.
They are commonly referred to as the “chain gang”. These are the assistants to the official linesman who are responsible for measuring the forward progress of the ball between first down conversions. From the time a team receives possession of the ball, to the time they gain another first down, score, turn the ball over, punt or forfeit possession, this crew measures the distance the ball is advanced down the field. For every ten yards of forward progress, another first down is awarded.
In less-developed countries like Myanmar, medical facilities are few and far between. Fewer still are the medicines and treatments needed to fight diseases such as Tuberculosis and Malaria, both of which are curable if diagnosed early.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that deteriorates the tissue of the lungs, along with causing weight loss and regular fever. It is spread through fluid droplets, such as the blood that many patients cough up once the disease has progressed.
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." - Ephesians 4:1-6
Disagreements and divisions distract us from the deeper purpose of the Church: to share the love of God and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
A lack of unity has led to hurting people within the Church, shunning people outside the Church, and a noticeable lack of missional motivation among Christians.