Before there was destruction, there was shalom.
Before there was sin, there was unhindered intimacy with the Father.
Before there was a fallen world, there was a holy garden.
Before there was poverty, there was abundance.
Shalom(wholeness/peace), abundance, and the garden all seem to blur out of focus as we flip channels, scroll Facebook, keep up with the latest news, and be good, informed world citizens. We wake up and there is another terrorist attack, another shooting, and another cause for division. Brokenness, atrophy, and chaos surround us in our relationships, our work, our nation, and our earth. It overwhelms us, because truly, it is a lot to bear.
When you feel you’ve had enough of the world that you can bear,you remember the children in Malawi and around the world who are suffering from unimaginable poverty,children as young as five years old who have only known life on the streets. You begin to wonder, what can I really do about any of it? It’s easy to sink into a heap of hopelessness, discouragement and defeat.
You remember that there was a garden, abundance, intimacy, and shalom! Then, in your minds eye you are able to see the new creation Jesus has been bringing for over 2,000 years. You cherish the warm smile of a friend, the warm meal on your table, the beautiful bird chirping outside. And while earth can be a little depressing, you hear his words whisper in your soul, “Do not let your heart be troubled. On earth, you will have trouble and sorrows. Take heart, I have overcome the world.” You remember, you don’t have to save the world or bear the weight of it on your shoulders…it’s already been taken care of.
So, when you ask what you can really do to help the children of Agape House? Our answer is:
1) Walk intimately with the Lord
Simply, what the world needs is more people who genuinely know the Lord and walk in his ways. Bask in His love and grace and let it flow forth from there… He will guide you.
2)Pray for Shalom
Of course, while our students need food, shelter, and clothing on their back, like all of us, they also long for peace in their lives, homes, families, and country. Pray that reconciliation, healing, and wholeness would come in every relationship of life, with their Father and Creator, within themselves, with others, and with creation.
3)Give of yourself and gratitude
Easy to say, harder to do, but we encourage you to give of yourself out of the abundance and goodness of God that He has given you. If you have a gift, share it. Along with that, cultivate a grateful heart. Shame and guilt on your part will not change the situation of our students, but gratefulness will.
4) Share Hope
Finally, carry hope inside of you everywhere you go and be brave enough to share it. Share it at the grocery store, at work, at home, and with our students. You’ll find that others can share hope with you as well.
One final thought:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”- Matthew 22:37-39