Really? THAT's your reasoning??

Last weekend while at one of our fabulous museums here in Denver, a woman struck up conversation as we watched our children take part in one of the exhibits. She saw how many kids we had and asked about them.

After telling her we had adopted them from Ethiopia, she looked completely bewildered.

"But WHY? Why would you do that?" she asked aloud.

Half trying to pay attention to our six kids running all over the place and half trying to explain to her the great need out there, I was frustrated. How can she be so shocked we did this?! How can this be such a foreign concept?!

I remember another woman, years ago who told me:

"Oh I could NEVER do that. We don't have a big enough house for all the kids to have their own rooms!"

Really. REALLY? That is your reasoning?!

{for the record, every one of our kids is doubled up in their rooms}

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Now I TOOOOOTALLY get that not everyone is called to adopt. I don't think it's for every family.

. . . . . .

BUT...I certainly DO think we are all called to do SOMETHING for the poor, for the orphans, and for the widows.

I just finished reading an incredible book by the former CEO of World Vision and his wife, Richard & Renee Stearns, called He Walks Among Us.

he walks among us

In it they share short stories of individuals they had met in their travels around the globe, how they've overcome struggles, and how God is working in the lives of the poorest of the poor.

It's inspiring. {and the photography is breathtaking}

Toward the end of the book is a chapter titled Seven Steps to Poverty.

I wanted to share it with you. It certainly helped me understand a little more, what it would be like to live in the way that much of the world does.

REMEMBER...we CAN do something to help! We CAN make a difference.

Ready? Here we go...

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Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

{Leviticus 19:18}

I'd like to take you on a mental and emotional journey into poverty. Follow me as, one at a time, I take seven things away from you. And let yourself feel the pain of the poor.

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First, I will take away your clothes.

Don't panic, I won't take them all. You can keep the ones you're wearing. Can you imagine wearing the same clothes every single day? You can wash them each night, but even this small takeaway is humiliating.

Next, I will take away electricity and power.

Imagine going home to a dark house each night. None of your appliances work: you can't use your refrigerator, telephone, heater, air conditioner, dishwasher, television, computer, or stove.

Your showers are cold, and now you have to wash your clothes by hand. Inconvenient is an understatement. But you shouldn't feel too bad; you are still better off than most of the world.

Takeaway number three is really tough: I'm taking away your clean water.

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Now none of your faucets, toilets, or showers work, and your only water source is a stagnant water hold about a mile away. You must walk hours each day to fetch the water your family needs, and because it is teeming with bacteria, you and your children are constantly sick.

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Making this situation even harder is the fact that none of your neighbors have been affected, and they don't even seem to notice your suffering.

I'm afraid I now have to take away your home, so you have to live in a ten-by-twenty foot mud hut with a dirt floor, no beds, and little furniture. Your whole family will now sleep in the same room on the floor.

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Takeaway number five is devastating: food.

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Long ago your children lost their smiles; now they are so hungry that the gnawing pain won't go away. You have to find what little food you can by picking through your neighbors' garbage. Already sick from drinking dirty water, your children become malnourished, and their bodies can't fight off diseases. Your four-year-old daughter seems to be slipping away.

Getting her to the doctor is urgent but, tragically, the sixth takeaway is health care.

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To your horror and disbelief, there is no doctor and you have no option except to watch powerlessly as your daughter, wracked with parasites and diarrhea, dies before your very eyes! How can this be happening?

So what else could I possibly take away?.

Your hope has died in the ashes of your poverty.

And you wonder why no one has stepped in to help you.

Do these seven takeaways make you feel compelled to do something about the hardships that billions of people endure each day?

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in him?

{I John 3:17}

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Please...PLEASE don't think there's nothing you can do from here.

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. . . . . .

These organizations, though largely African in focus...are some that we hold close to our hearts.

{water/wells}Β Water to Thrive

{mosquito nets to prevent malaria} Nothing but Nets

{building wells, schools, medical clinics} A Glimmer of Hope

{shoes/protecting feet of children from hookworm and more} Soles for Souls

{helping free women from sex trade/human rights} International Justice Mission

{sponsor a child} World Vision & Compassion International

{give the gift of an animal & more} World Vision

. . . . . .

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You CAN make a difference. It may seem small to you...but it's life changing for them.

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