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Category Archives: Poverty

This morning I was able to hang with Necole for a bit. Then I hit the malls to finish start my x-mas shopping. This is the first time I’ve been to the mall since my trip to Africa. I spoke a few weeks ago at Vista and I shared a stat I read from Relevant Magazine. This Christmas holiday people will spend 450 billion on presents, yet it would only take 10 billion to provide clean water for the entire world-um, can you say reality check!
As I shopped I could not help but be so frustrated. Why, because in my mind their are faces of children, I can see their smile, feel their skin and remember their hugs. While in Zimbabwe I remember one kid in particular. He did not say one word the entire time we were at his orphanage. But he would not let go of me…I carried him, held his hand, asked him questions-nothing. Then I told him I had to go. And he finally said something to me…

“Can I go with you?”

I had to walk away as I was close to literally breaking down. I know there are millions of kids just like him. Many are in Africa, plenty are in Austin-wherever you live there is someone in need. They need help, the crave love and they have no family. Thank God for those who sacrifice to love, help and give to those in need.

So today as I bought gifts for my family I had this strange tension…Not guilt, but love. So please do me a favor this holiday season. Help somebody somewhere. Give your time, money or maybe something around your house that you no longer use but could be used by another family in need.

I love what the prophet Issiah said:

“Seek to do good.”

Those are words to live by.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07 US

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United States: The Revis family of North Carolina 
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98 US

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Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25 US

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Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

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Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09 US

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Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna 
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27 US

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Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyp tian Pounds or $68.53 US

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Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo 
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55 US

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Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03 US

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Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp 
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

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HT: Los

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Next Thursday we will be hosting an event called Stories From Africa. Click the link for details.

Steven & Amy will be sharing a bit of their experiences while in Africa the past two years. Looking forward to that.

Also, Kyle Lent will be performing after the conversation. You won’t want to miss him.

Props to Charles and Crestview for hosting the event. They have one of the best “church” coffee shops around.

Can’t wait for this event.

On What Would You Say To The Church

“A guy over there should not be dying while I have so much.  If the church takes a stance by saying that this is our human and God-given duty in the next 10 years to solve the problem of poverty – I believe they could do it.  I would hope that churches would never let their leaders off the hook.  If they want to hold the enthusiasm of people they have to crack this issue.  I promise we can crush world poverty in the next 10 years.  I would love to say that 10 years from now that I engaged churches in this cause.  It would be there greatest victory!

HT:daveferguson.org: Richard Curtis Interview

My friend Steven is leading up a project in Kenya. Basically he is requesting some help. Quick info below…For in-depth details please go to his blog.

Here’s what Mary’s parents need to rebuild their lives in Kenya:

* 2 young cows – $714 total ($357 each)
* 200 chicks – $285 total ($1.83 each)
* Feed for animals – $174 total for 6 months ($29 per month)
* Financial support before animals produce income – $426 total for 6 months ($71 per month)

For those of you who missed this past Sunday I shared my story or testimony. Feel free to listen to it via podcast, click here.

Anyhow, I ran out of time to complete my message, so I decided to take this space to bring some closure to James 4:1-10.

Here is what we learned Sunday: James tells us that Grace is more. Yes, we commit adultery on God by trusting in the world more than we trust in Jesus. Yes we pray selfish prayers, you know those prayers that are always about me and my needs. Yes, we are carnal…We talk bad about one-another…We covet…We kill.

Sufjan Stevens has a song about John Wayne Gacy, Jr. In the song, Sufjan sings us the story of this wicked serial killer who murdered 27 boys. Then Sufjan says this; “I’m really just like him, look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid.”

This is how I feel about myself. I sin, commit adultery on God and covet what others have. It’s tough, I wish I was an Angel, perfect you know. I wish I could overcome some of my “junk” that has lingered for far to long.

But James (4:6) says Gods Grace is simply more than my junk. And you know what? God’s grace is more than your junk too. Do you believe that?

God gives us a pathway to wholeness. Let’s read the rest of James 4:6-10

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

God loves those who walk with a sense of humility. When was the last time you wept & mourned deeply. Let me tell you a story. A few weeks ago I was watching a video from the Invisible Children Organization. It was about a boy in Africa named Emmy. You already know the story-aids, poverty, homelessness, etc. But when the documentary was finished I was crushed. I went into my Mother-In-Law’s bathroom and wept. Why? Because I know there is a problem that Jesus hates and yet I do nothing about the problem.

Its sin…And I repented for it!

Hopefully this fall I will be on a plane to Africa. I will be teaching African pastors “but we all know they will be teaching me, right?” I can no longer stand to “know” and not “act.”

Now, back to my story: James tells us when we repent, He will exalt you. Man, if you heard my story you know I should not be where I’m at. There are many days that I’m in shock and I stand before God and I simply say thank you. Thank you for a beautiful wife, two amazing daughters, a great church, a roof over-my-head and purpose to live life. I’m glad that somehow God could take my junk and make it beautiful.

This is why I love to repent, I come close to God, I walk in humility, and God gets the glory!

Just remember; repentance is your friend.

Shalom

Chris Marlow

So I headed to the in-laws for dinner. I decided to watch Invisible Children: The Red Emmy Bracelet DVD while waiting. Bad mistake. As I watched the DVD I could not help but weep. I just sat in the bathroom and cried my eyes out. Absolutely devastating.

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I’m a huge U2 fan. I love their music. But more importantly I love how Bono has expanded his influence beyond the realm of music. I know a lot of folks thought the Red Campaign was lame. But I love the fact that Bono is trying to be pro-active. Sometimes failure and loss are apart of the long-term solution.

Anyhow I’ve heard so much noise about this speech. Tonight I finally watched it. Good stuff, very convicting, lots of inspiration and definitely prophetic.

Quick follow-up to this post:

After saying a violent silent prayer. I finally approached the guy. Actually I just sat down at his table, looked him in the eye and asked him point blank if he thought poverty was a choice. He was a bit offended I think. But yo, he came to me first, opened his mouth and got the ball rolling.

Now this is an educated dude. But I think I helped re-educate him. Typical suburban mentality. He grew up in the “burbs” and he assumed those who are in poverty are lazy. I asked him he was saw this a local issue or a global issue.

Anyhow it turned out well. We spoke of God, faith, action, responsibility and mercy. Plus, I drank my coffee.

It was strange how mad I got. I was so upset I was seriously wanted to do damage. It’s been so long since I’ve been that frustrated. I just have such a burden for the issue of poverty and justice. Now if I can stop being a hypocrite and get out and “do” something!

This will make you mad, and it will make you cry and it will make you ask why. And it will make you want to hit people in coffeeshops and get mad over granite walls in church foyers and well I better stop now.

HT: Ben Arment