Last year, Jacky Buhoro of the Democratic Republic of Congo told me, “As Christians, we are called to change by doing.” Where does this responsibility come from? I’m far from being a Bible scholar and so I love it when someone can make the stories come to life and inspire me to action. Recently, this inspiration came through Will Brown, a graduating student at Yale Divinity School, in a sermon about Jeremiah answering God’s call to serve others. In 6th grade, Will got his first pair of glasses. A small change and yet, to his great amazement, little Will could now see everything clearly: the leaves on the trees, and the chalkboard in the classroom!
But with the new ability to see clearly he also saw the rough spots, the stain on the floor. These are the places where the reality of what we see doesn’t match God’s reality for the world. As we begin to see how people in our neighborhood and overseas struggle to pay for education and to get a job to support themselves, we become responsible for reacting to make this different.
We know that God’s reality is not want and despair but rather prosperity and hope. Our world’s dark corners need our attention to bring them into God’s perfect peace and potential for the world. Spirit in Action was created to address those needs with compassion, love and action.
A Model of Compassion
One great model of compassion is Jacky Buhoro, who says, “It is my duty to help unable persons.” In her village near the DR Congo-Rwanda border, Jacky works with war widows to grow food in a community garden that was started with a SIA grant in 2007. “The community garden project for women helps us a lot to feed orphans. It serves as a demonstration site to help children understand the importance of gardens and the role of working together.”
Jacky sees the world with God’s clear vision – she sees both the vulnerable women and children without land and without access to education AND the opportunity to encourage each of them through action and compassion in the garden. With people like Jacky who are so hopeful for the “vulnerable people created in the image of God,” the least I can do is support her as she actively seeks God’s reality of peace here and now. I can see that much clearly!
From Del’s Journal: There Must be a Sharp Focus on Compassion
People Helping People – about the book The Poor Philanthropist