Being Christ to Africa

The gap between intellectual assent and practical intervention is still a gaping chasm.

Africa has become the contemporary Church’s pet social justice topic. Leaders across the board in the Christian community are finally talking about the tragedies of hunger, extreme poverty, AIDS, international debt and unsafe drinking water. Yet despite the topic’s newfound status, the gap between intellectual assent and practical intervention is still a gaping chasm. Has your church or group made itself relevant to Africa? Here are some practical ways to become part of the solution:

Self-educate + communicate
: The movement begins with you, and to make changes, you will need to understand what needs to be changed. There are numerous resources online with information. Once you know the facts, spread them.

Praying + brainstorming: Prayer recognizes that the greatest changes come from God. Start out by praying with a small group of people, which may be your entire group or just the leadership. As you seek God for Africa, listen to Him and to each other. Use this opportunity to come up with a few creative ideas on how to raise awareness and facilitate aid.

Your group + the community: Your group does not exist in a vacuum, and neither does this social issue. Businesses, radio stations, television stations, universities, schools, politicians, other churches and nonprofit organizations are often looking for ways to promote themselves and be involved in the community. Harness this fact to Africa’s advantage by getting in touch with these groups in your community. Hold meetings and events with leaders and key persons to plan, rally support and gather resources.

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Activate + donate: It has been said that vision is caught, not taught. As you become more aware of the issues involved, form a clearer picture of what you can do and begin to become more visibly excited about making a difference, others will catch on. As the vision catches, you can hold events and benefits to help raise money to support ministries and organizations that are positively impacting Africa. This could be a benefit banquet, a “justice run” or practically anything. You can even recruit local artists to create T-shirts and paintings that can be sold to raise support for an African aid organization of your choice.

Your voice + your vote
: Chances are, you can have a bigger political impact than you think. At this point, your mind may turn to the fact that you are an extremely busy leader. That in mind, there are ways to make a political impact without spending an enormous amount of time. For example, you can call or write to your representatives and ask them to promote Fair Trade laws or legislation for aid to Africa. Believe it or not, there you can find scripts of what to say over the phone and examples of what to write online. If you can rally others to do the same en masse, your voice can be multiplied to make a huge impact. And never, ever forget the difference your vote can make during election times.

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