Today is the 4th of July!
We live in a wonderful place where we experience freedoms unparalleled by any other country around the world. I’m grateful to live in a nation where I can pursue any career I choose, marry any man I want, practice whatever religion I prefer, and raise my kids the way I see fit. (These rights may change in the near future, but as of now, we are still able to enjoy the benefits of freedom.)
But as amazing as the freedoms that this country affords us are, if we are Christ followers, we enjoy even greater freedom. Freedom in Christ.
Because we live in America, we are able to tell others about Christ. And we can use our freedoms to help those around the world who are less fortunate.
I have put together a short list of a few organizations that are helping people gain freedom around the world. I encourage you to check out their websites to see how you can help. And most importantly, pray that the Lord will show you how to be personally involved in helping another person learn about Christ as they gain freedom.
- Compassion International: I’m sure most of you have heard about this organization. Through a monthly donation, you are able to sponsor a child and help provide them with education, healthy meals, and resources to improve their community. We currently sponsor a couple of children through this organization and it’s so fun to receive letters from the kids and watch them grow. If you can’t commit to a monthly sponsorship, Compassion has other ongoing needs where you can make a one time donation.
- Kiva: I found this organization a few years ago. Basically you provide a $25 loan to help an individual or a group start a business so that they can support their families. Eventually your $25 will be paid back to your account and you can choose to reinvest it in another small business or you can cash out. Our initial $25 investment has benefitted at least 4 small businesses so far because we have chosen to keep reinvesting as we help families around the world work their way out of poverty.
- Land of a Thousand Hills: This is a Christian coffee company (and who doesn’t like coffee?) that is committed to paying fair wages to their coffee farmers. The company began as a way to help farmers in Rwanda and has since spread to other countries around the world. And y’all. The coffee is SO GOOD. Peter can attest to that. When he was deployed to Afghanistan, he constantly ordered coffee from Land of a Thousand Hills.
- HelpOneNow: This partnership of individuals, churches, and businesses is committed to rescuing orphans, preventing slavery, and advocating for vulnerable children. You can help in a variety of ways. They have child sponsorships; a $10 a month club (where you donate $10 a month); or a “Help One Classroom” where you can sponsor a classroom in Uganda or Haiti.
- As Our Own: This organization is based in India and is probably one of my favorite ministries. I love the whole idea! The founder and his family rescue girls from slavery, bring them into their home, and raise them as their own children. Like seriously. As their own. They provide meals and housing, of course, but they also provide love and nurturing, education and music lessons. And many of these rescued girls will go on to receive a college education. But more than any of these benefits, by being rescued from horrendous conditions and brought into this home in India, they have gained a true family. Don’t you just love that model? There are plenty of ways to help this organization. Check out their website for more info.
I know there are hundreds of other organizations that are doing similar things, but I only had time to list five. I urge you today, in the midst of your barbecue celebrations or your day at the lake, to take some time and explore ways you can help others find freedom.
And Happy Fourth of July, my friends!