What is important about Memorial Day? What is it for and what are we celebrating?
It began as Decoration Day following the Civil War- a day to decorate the graves of some of the almost 500,000 American soldiers who died during that terrible war. Today there have been more than 1.2 million war time military deaths.
The little girls and boys walked up eagerly to our mission partner, shivering in their barely-thick-enough clothing for the cooler temperatures of winter in India.
Due to the vicious inequality of the caste system, these precious children and their families are trapped in the grips of poverty with little help or notice from their surrounding communities. This leads to nearly constant food insecurity, and a severe lack of resources -- many of them living in little more than mud-and-garbage huts. Thanks to your love, they recently received food and blankets from IDES in the name of Jesus.
Each of the children's mothers smiled at our partner, tears welling up in their eyes in gratitude as a clean, warm blanket and a package of food was handed to them.
Back in high school, I was a serious band-geek.
The majority of my close friends were members of the band program, and I loved being a part of that group--I still play trumpet to this day. However, I also desperately wanted to be liked by people in the other social strata. I wanted to be "popular" like the athletes. I wanted to be "cool" like the skaters. I wanted to be "smart" like the academics.
In order to fit in with the other crowds, I would often deliberately change the jokes I would make, the lingo I would use, and even the things I would wear depending on whom I was hanging out with that day. All of these were attempts to define my identity in some way, so they definitely skewed my core values. The way I carried myself and treated people was dishonest, inconsistent, foolish, and vainly self-centered. To be frank, I sometimes lacked in integrity.
All year long, your creativity and generosity provides help and hope to the hungry through IDES' Harvest of Talents (HOT) program.
It says in 1 Peter 4:10, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." Your willingness to take this verse to heart has led to the 15 separate HOT programs that are currently serving the most vulnerable and undernourished around the world as you read this article.
The excuses we have for not sharing the good news of Jesus are endless.
Here are just a few examples. Do any of them ring true for you?
After 2016's Hurricane Matthew, there were thousands of families in Haiti who were left without food, water, and shelter. The situation appeared hopeless.
But thanks to you, IDES was able to provide over $100,000 of disaster aid, distributed through 20 different local partners in Haiti. The recovery process continues even as you read this article: homes are being rebuilt, water is being purified, and food is being provided where needed, all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the past few months, stories upon stories from our local partners there have been pouring in regarding just how beautifully God is using your generous response in blessing the affected families with help and hope. Three of these testimonies deeply moved the IDES staff, and we wanted to share them with you, since it is your willingness to show up with God's love that is making hope possible for these families.
People in our world are suffering. But, YOU can make hope possible. Find out how in this video and share to spread the word!
Things can get awkward fast when the topic of generosity comes up in church.
Why? Why do we get so antsy talking about it? Furthermore, why do we so often feel that twinge of guilt just before we give in some way?
IDES is currently responding to the flooding in Southeastern Missouri and Eastern Oklahoma. Rivers are at historic flood-stages, interstate highways are shutdown, and homes have been severely damaged throughout the two states. It is still raining and the waters are still rising.
We are sending funds to partners in the area as damage is being assessed. Once the water recedes, IDES will be assisting in repairs to homes, and replacing home-appliance items. You can make hope possible for these families by generously donating at the button below. Your willingness to help will make a tremendous impact for those who have been affected by these storms. Be sure to select "U.S. Disaster Response" on the online form, or write it on the memo line of your check.
To donate online click here:
To donate by mail, please mail all cash or check gifts to:
PO Box 379
Noblesville, IN 46061
On this National Day of Prayer, we invite you to join the IDES Staff in praying for our nation and our world.
1) Pray for our nation’s leaders. Ask that they will humble themselves before the Lord, seeking His guidance and wisdom to administer their duties.
2) Offer up prayers of repentance on behalf of our nation. Confess ways we have turned away from God. Ask His forgiveness. Surrender to His perfect will.
3) Pray that America will always be a lamp of freedom. Intercede on behalf of those around the world who suffer the effects of oppression, persecution, neglect and exploitation. Ask God to meet both their physical and spiritual needs in Christ Jesus.
-Your friends at IDES