Monthly Archives: October 2014

Z is for Zoo Animals

Safari collage2

I can hear you asking now – what in the world do zoo animals have to do with praying for the people of the 10/40 window? Well, let me show you! There is something fascinating, especially to young children, about exotic animals. Camels and elephants, lions and tigers, even monkeys and crocodiles fire the imagination and invite us to explore entirely new worlds.  What if we introduced children to far away lands by using something they are already interested in – animals?

For example, you can use the Sumatran rhinoceros to introduce children to the nation of Indonesia. The Asian elephant is a doorway into Thailand. The saltwater crocodile provides a way to visit Burma. The Arabian oryx is a gateway to Oman. And what more natural way to start an exploration of India than with the Bengal tiger? Choose any animal you like and gather some free resources about it such as pictures, notebooking pages, free books, etc… Talk to your children, your Sunday School group, or your co-op class about where these animals live, how they live, and what their habitats are like. Then talk about the people who also live in these places, how they live, and what their needs are. There are many free online resources for finding such information. One of my favorite sites is the Joshua Project.

The needs around us are almost limitless. Thankfully, our Creator has given us the limitless gift of His love, wisdom, and imagination to meet these needs. What can each of us do today to help meet the needs of the 10/40 window?

Ben and Me

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Y is for Youth

I don’t have a long post for you to read today, just faces to share. These are the faces of the children of Asia who need our prayers and the love of Jesus Christ, the faces that draw my heart back again and again.
Y is for Youth3

Ben and Me

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X is for eXtra Income

Blogging Through the Alphabet-X is for eXtra Income2

Have you ever been unemployed? Have you ever wished for just one break, one chance to work to provide for your family? It’s not that you don’t want to work but that you cannot find a job, any job.

This is a picture of a woman in South Asia and a water buffalo. If you’ve ever been introduced to the wonderful and wacky world of Veggie Tales, this picture can only bring one song to mind. But the reality is that everyone does not have a water buffalo, including those who really need one.

What do water buffalo and unemployment have to do with each other? Simple. In South Asia, there are thousands upon thousands of desperate men and women who want to provide for their families but cannot. The jobs simply aren’t there. The means to provide do not exist. The ones who do manage to get jobs often find themselves taken advantage of. They work all day, often in dangerous or unhealthy conditions, but are not paid enough to adequately provide for themselves and their children.

A water buffalo is a tool families in South Asia can use to earn the income they need. It’s not extra income; it’s the income necessary to survive. There are all kinds of tools that can help a family like the family of the woman in the picture above. A few chickens, a sewing machine, a pull cart, even a small produce scale (which only costs $10) can make a lifetime of difference in the lives of those desperate to provide for their families.

May I ask you to do me a favor? This Christmas, when you are looking for a special gift for a special someone, or trying to decide what to get for that person who has everything, would you consider giving a gift in their honor to someone who has nothing? If you run an office that receives an abundance of chocolate and treats each year from patrons, consider asking them to instead send a gift that will equip others to work and provide food, medicine, and education for their families. It’s easy. It’s fast. And it produces fruit that will last forever.

Take a look and see what you can do to help.


Ben and Me

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W is for Winning the Lost

W is for Winning the Lost

They were covered in filth, and they didn’t even know it. They had lived in it for so long they had grown used to it. Some didn’t know there was another way. Others should have known, should have remembered, but they had forgotten.

So he came to them. He came to where they were. He looked past the filth. He gave light to those who had never seen. He reminded those who had forgotten. Some were overjoyed to hear the news. Others scoffed. Still others grew angry-how dare anyone come into their world and challenge the way things had always been done.

But he reached out anyways-to the lost, the scoffers, and the angry. And he embraced them. He wasn’t afraid to get involved.

Then he went beyond.

He took the filth, the sin and shame, on himself. Not just on his skin or his hands but into his very heart. And he carried it to the cross, even thought it meant he would lose his connection with the Father. He paid for our mistakes with his life. It was the only way to reconnect each of us to the Father.

“When you were dead in your sins . . . God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 NIV

To prove the payment was enough, he returned to life, defeating the power of death once and for all.

We can never walk the entire road Jesus walked. He alone could pay for our sins. But may we each be willing to follow in his footsteps wherever he leads us, sharing his life and his love with those who have never heard, those who scoff, and those who are angry.

Ben and Me

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