Monday, November 24, 2008

What are Your Holiday Plans This Year?

I normally wouldn't post something like this on my "handmade showcase" blog, but how can I help but share? I must warn you, that I will not paint a pretty picture here, and some of the information that you are about to read, will be graphic and full of awful, unthinkable scenes, that are not scenes out of Hollywood, but scenes out of the lives of people a world away.

Please allow me to set the stage: Our family lives in a fairly affluent area of the SF Bay Area of California, although we are not considered "well-off" by the standards of the demographics here. We live very happily in a small apartment that is only 5 minutes from my husband's place of work. Things are pretty tight for us financially right now, and the other day, we were lamenting about the fact that we wouldn't be able to buy the kinds of, and quantities of Christmas gifts for our family members like we have in the past years. We hear every day about what the "best Christmas present" is, and how if only we had "THIS CAR", we would be full of joy. "There's nothing that will bring your family together this holiday season like ___________." People are concerned with the big game, or the gas prices, or if their 401K is going to survive. While I realize that some of the fears we face in this economy are legit, I don't think we're really feeling the squeeze quite yet.

But compared to the MAJORITY of the world, our little family is RICH! Comparatively speaking, we are millionaires! My husband has been praying lately that God will "break his heart" for the things that break God's heart. And God has been answering that prayer. Lately, we have heard only small snippets of news stories, or read small clippings about the things that are going on in Africa: Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and other African nations. There is war going on that is devastating the lives of many. 30,000 rapes have been reported each year for the past four years, just in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, and the actual number is thought to be four times that high. Children are going without food and good drinking water. Schools are being raided and young boys are being kidnapped and are forced to train as soldiers. Yes, you might have seen this on "24" the other night, in a "make-believe" country, but this is REAL. "Increased violence has created massive new population displacement in North Kivu. The fighting and insecurity has made it difficult for humanitarian organisations to deliver assistance. Large areas of the region are inaccessible, as many roads have been cut off." (Quoted from HERE.)

My husband showed me a video today that had me in tears, with my heart just breaking over what is going on in the DRC. I hope that you will watch this video, and that your heart will break enough for you to want to take action.

I know that, if you are like me, you are probably thinking, "But what can I do?". It seems so hopeless. We're so far away, and what we send might not even arrive there in time to help, or even arrive there at all. But there is one thing that you can do. You can pray. God hears immediately, and will intervene. We may never hear of it...we may never see a result...but He is sovereign, and He will intervene. I hope that you will think about this over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and general holiday season. I hope that your mind has been filled with turmoil over the pain and suffering that these people are enduring. I hope that it is enough to make you want to get on your knees and cry out for these people. I know that we will be interceding at the throne for these people.
While we are definitely moved by what is going on in the DRC, and the rest of Africa, and we as a family will be giving what we can to help give aid to these people, it is not our intent to solicit donations to any specific charity. However, if your heart has been moved by what is going on over there, and you would LIKE to be able to help financially, there are several relief organizations with "A" or "A+" ratings (via or, that are providing relief by way of clean water, food, medicines, shelter, etc., such as Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children. Each of these sites have ways for you to donate directly to ongoing relief efforts in the Congo.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas, and remember to praise God that you are alive and that you are so richly blessed with all that you have. Please don't forget to pray without ceasing.


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