I am sitting at the cancer center in Lakeland, Florida waiting on a dear friend, who is attending an appointment. My heart is heavy as I look around the waiting room. There is a cancer survivor in the corner playing songs from The Sound of Music on his clarinet, and the beautiful music echoes throughout the building. Worried looks on faces, smiles, tears, and laughter fills this waiting room where I sit drinking a cup of coffee and taking all of this in. I try to hold back my emotions as a small child enters the lobby and the clarinet player changes his song to the theme of Snow White, while a knot forms in my throat and I try to hold back my tears. I am reminded in this very instant that life is fragile, life is precious, and life is a gift.
According to www.wfp.org “some 805 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.” That fact alone should make us close our computers or set our phones/tablets down and do something about it. Or what about the fact that diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. (charitywater.com) shouldn’t this move us and compel us to want to make changes in our own lives.
Meet the Myers. A couple so moved, so compelled, and so driven by the pain and suffering of others, they gave up their comfortable life in Austin, Texas to live among a poor and hurting people in Tanzania, Africa. But it wasn’t just a beautiful home and great jobs they left behind; it was family (a very close-nit family) friends, and the safety of raising their own child in the first world. They laid it all down for the kingdom. They. Are. My. HEROS. James and his wife Endurance live among the Zaramo people, who are among the least reached people groups in the world. According to www.1520unreached.com the Zaramo are predominantly Muslim. Although they adhere to the teachings of the Koran and observe the basic Islamic practices, many have mingled their Islamic beliefs with their traditional ethnic religions.
Endurance writes in her lasted blog, “The brokenness of this world does not get any less sad, the longer you live in the midst of it. It is devastating that people have to live, and die like this.” You see The Myer’s live in a village surrounded by the people group mentioned above and some of these people suffer from albinism. Many tribal people consider a person with albinism to be a demon or be possessed by an evil spirit. As a result, hundreds of people who have albinism are killed every year at birth. Due to this superstition, The Myer’s have, in addition to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, become a safe haven for these children, providing them with love, encouragement, and safety. They also provide sunscreen and sun protective clothing for these children. All this is just a small portion of what James and Endurance are doing. Would you consider going to www.1520unreached.com and learning more about them? Maybe you could be the hope of a small child or an adult Muslim who encounters Jesus for the first time. Endurance once said, “Christ is the hope that courses through her veins, even on the most difficult of days.” Will you help provide that hope?