As my husband and I sat comfortably on the couch watching a Christmas classic, our evening entertainment was interrupted by the distinct popping of gunshots nearby. While discussing for a moment whether to even call the police, I realized how desensitized I had become to the turmoil beyond our apartment walls. Those familiar and fatal sounds were those of the toxic reality that somehow often feels distant and escapable after passing the threshold of our front door each day.
Ironically, the Christmas movie we were watching was a remake of a well-known classic, “Scrooged” starring Bill Murray. You’ve likely heard the tale time and again. After Scrooge, a vile and selfish human being, is visited by three ghosts, he has a change of heart and comes to the realization that money and greed are contemptible traits and that kindness, joyfulness and generosity are the traits that define a person ultimately.
Everyday there are people struggling. People who are angry. People in pain. People who are lost. Some of those people live in my neighborhood. Some of them live in your neighborhood. Throughout the world there is no shortage of struggle and despair. How am I displaying kindness and generosity with a joyful heart to those around me?
During a recent trip to Southern Asia, it became clear that this desensitization or even flagrant disregard for those around us is universal. Millions of people live in desperation. They live in starvation. Hungry for basic needs. Hungry for acknowledgement, for validation, for opportunity, for generosity and for love. Gasping for air in a smog of oppression, their future looks bleak and hopeless. Yet amid the anguish, there are those offering a breath of fresh air and a bite to eat. Breaking bread with those in need, with little to give but a kind heart, a genuine love, and hope.
I watched one man care for another who was cast out to live an impoverished life on the streets because he struggled with mental illness. I participated in a graduation ceremony for women who had been struggling to survive and who could now use their sewing skills to be self-employed and provide for their families. I heard stories of the hopeless restored.
In the Bible, John 6:35 says, “Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” There are women and men in Southern Asia who, through Christ, are no longer spiritually hungry or thirsty. These individuals, who by cultural standards are inferior, God has restored and sent out within their own communities to represent his love, his generosity, his grace and his mercy.
Beyond our door steps are struggling, desperate souls. If across the globe those with very little have found a way to provide the broken with hope, we too can surely make a difference as well.
God has blessed me with much. There are a multitude of opportunities for me to get involved in my community. While I consider ways to share my blessings with others nearby, I also want to be supporting those who, despite their great desire to make a difference, are held back by their means. I want to help provide hope to the suffering and the lost. For $6,500, one woman in Southern Asia will have the opportunity to transform her life and the lives of others in their communities over a period of three years. Through the sacrifice and commitment of these women, others will be blessed.
Make a difference this holiday season and join me in supporting these women in Southern Asia. Learn more at Gailsgirls.org.