Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Good Week

Last week was a very good week as some of the richest people and richest nations focused on the poorest people and poorest nations like never before. I hope it's just the beginning.

On Wednesday I read about the upcoming Live8 concerts that will be held on July 2 in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin and Rome. www.live8live.com U2, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney, The Cure, Sting are just a few of the groups playing at these concerts. All of these and many more stars are gathering to focus the world's attention on the fact that 30,000 people die every day just because of poverty. Bono has been leading the way now for years and has a great organization where you can learn more about these issues. www.data.org

Brad Pitt was featured Thursday night on prime time as he talked about how his recent trip to Ethiopia affected his life. He talked of being annoyed at getting so much attention himself and having half a million dollar photos taken of him when there are so many helpless people dying of starvation and preventable diseases. He also talked of downsizing his home, his belongings, his life as all of his possessions mean much less to him now.

Earlier in the week I read a great article in the NY Times about how a once unthinkable alliance is coming together with evangelical leaders like Rick Warren joining the likes of some of the most liberal politicians and Hollywood stars mentioned above. Rather than constantly fighting with each other about differences why not put aside differences and fight the common war against poverty? Fortunately, it's happening.

On Saturday, Tony Blair and President Bush announced a debt relief plan that should take effect immediately for 18 countries. Uganda and Rwanda are included in these countries and will have all debt relieved that is owed to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank. This will free up much needed money for providing more free education and better healthcare. (Just imagine what you could do if your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, etc were all wiped out.)

On July 6th, the G8 nations will meet in Scotland and discuss even more initiatives to share their wealth with the world's poor. Hopefully they will make more bold decisions that will truly help the poor of the world.

This is a time to be active and praying for these things. It would be a shame if the Christian community did not stand up and participate in this movement. In fact, we should be leading this movement! I read throughout my Bible how God desires for His people to look for ways to serve the underprivileged - physically and spiritually. My prayer is that American Christians will truly show compassion to the world's poor through their budgets, actions, and prayers.

Are you part of a church community that is truly compassionate to the poor and needy as we read about in Acts? What more can be done in your church?


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