Good News... Bad News
By Kelli Trujillo
May 9, 2011
Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Nuclear disasters. Crazed dictators. War. Torture. Sex trafficking. Blood diamonds. Rape campaigns. Poverty. Racism. Disease.
The stark reality of all the “bad news” in the world can leave us reeling. Like a high school physics reeling. Like a high school physics equation with a minute amount of force working against a massive, immovable object, at times it can feel impossible to make a significant impact.
But consider one more piece of bad news: According to World Vision, 24,000 children die each day around the world from preventable causes. Preventable causes.
We may not be able to stop a tsunami, but we can prevent malaria deaths by providing inexpensive mosquito nets. We may not be able to halt a tank, but we can end the fatal transmission of parasites in unclean water by equipping impoverished communities with sanitary water for drinking and cooking.
We may not be able to cure AIDS (yet), but we can supply medicines that prevent transmission of HIV from a pregnant mother to her unborn child and that extend the lives of AIDS patients so their children aren’t left orphaned.
There are many things we cannot do—but there are countless things we can. And there’s a new opportunity to directly provide medicine and clean water to impoverished children around the world that may surprise you ...
Buy a Bible, Help a Child
Stand up for the poor and the orphan; advocate for the rights of the afflicted and those in need (Psalm 82:3, The Voice)
There are many effective ways we can answer this call, but here’s a new one: purchasing a Bible.Publisher Thomas Nelson has committed to donate a significant portion of the profits from every Thomas Nelson Bible you and others purchase from a Christian retailer (through March 2012) to World Vision’s child health fund.**
In other words, part of what you spend will go directly to supplying anti-malaria medication, HIV/AIDS drugs, vitamins, clean water and nutritious food to children living in some of the most impoverished areas of the globe. Your purchase of a copy of God’s Word will make an impact in the lives of the hurting in God’s world.Take Action This Week
- Buy a Bible to give away to someone who needs it—a curious friend, a local homeless shelter or a service member overseas. Remember: If it’s a Thomas Nelson Bible purchased from a Christian retailer between now and March 2012, a portion of your money will go directly to World Vision’s child health fund.
- At the grocery store this week, find a senior citizen or physically challenged person and help take their bags to their car.
- Challenge yourself to recycle as much of your trash as you can this week.
- Invite your neighbors over for a cookout—build and strengthen those relationships as you demonstrate Christ’s love.
- Fast from a meal, coffee or afternoon snack and give that money instead to a local hunger-related ministry.
- Build momentum for service and justice by giving props to a faith hero in your life. Go to SeeGodsWordinAction.com and share the story of someone you know whose commitment to justice will inspire others.
- Clean your closet—select clothing you’re willing to part with and donate it. (Try to include good quality items.)
God’s Word in Action
“You may be the only Bible others will ever read.” Perhaps it’s cheesy—an overused axiom worthy of a baby-boomer email forward. But it’s also true. Consid er how Peter put it: “Live such good lives among the pagans that ... they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12). Or James: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
Ultimately, we proclaim what we believe about God, His Word and His world through our actions. As we serve, as we give, as we volunteer, as we stand against injustice, we put God’s Word into action. We make His character and His Kingdom visible to the world around us.
And when we don’t—when comfort and spiritual inertia win out over action and compassion—we, sadly, present a very different “Bible” to our friends, our community, our culture.
Along with their financial donation to World Vision, Thomas Nelson is working to mobilize the Church into living active lives of justice, compassion and service through a new “God’s Word in Action” campaign. Their website, SeeGodsWordinAction.com, provides detailed information about local and global needs, scriptural insights about poverty and justice, inspiring stories of everyday people putting their faith into action, and weekly suggestions for practical ways you can tangibly embody your faith. As part of this campaign, their new Take Action Bible highlights compelling examples of everyday people who are responding to the bad news in the world not with inertia but with action as they give, go, heal, serve and teach in Jesus’ name. For Thomas Nelson, it’s not just about publishing Bibles—it’s also about inspiring Christ-followers to clearly proclaim that Word through our actions.
The needs in this world can overwhelm, but God isn’t calling you to address every single one. Seek God’s direction—He’ll point you toward specific ways He wants you to serve. It may be addressing poverty and malnutrition a continent away, or it may be as close as your apartment building: the immigrant family who needs help learning English, the single mom who’s exhausted and in debt, the isolated widow who seems to be always alone.
Apathy, inertia, inaction—they have no place in the Christian life.
You already believe this. Now ... take action.
**Applies to sales at U.S. Christian retail stores only from April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012. Thomas Nelson will donate 10% of its year-over-year net revenue growth achieved during that period to World Vision, with a minimum donation of $75,000. Just look for any Bible with the Thomas Nelson “house” logo. For more information about World Vision, visit WorldVision.org.