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Advocacy5 min read


Pt 4 | Real-Life Revolutionaries

Vernon Brewer
Oct 02, 2011

In the past three weeks, I have released a blog post every Sunday as part of a four-part series expounding on my recent address to 11,000 students at Liberty University called “Love That Can Change the World.” This week’s post is the final installment of the series. I hope it, along with previous posts, will both challenge and encourage you to examine your own life deeply and to imagine what we as Christ followers can accomplish when we move from pity to true compassion in action. Thanks for reading!    –Vernon (To watch a full-length version of my address at Liberty, click here.)

In this last week of my blog series on compassion, I want to encourage you with a couple of stories of people I consider to be “real-life revolutionaries,” those who are responding to the desperate situation in the Horn of Africa in practical, yet extraordinary ways.

Meet Bill Murray, a World Help board member who sent the following confession to me, along with dozens of friends, family, and business partners.

Dear Friends and Family,

I just realized something—for weeks now I’ve watched the famine in Somalia on the news—and I haven’t done anything. Quite possibly one of the greatest humanitarian issues of my generation, and I’ve been consumed with political news and Tiger Wood’s caddy.

People are starving and I’ve done nothing—I’ve seen but apparently not heard. I’ve understood but not been moved enough to react with any assistance. Excuse me? I just can’t become that person. The world constantly tries to beat me into submission – tries to get me to watch starving people without compassion while I eat dinner with the TIVOd news of the evening waiting for the stock report and the sports. I must rise above being consumed with my own desires and my own immediate environment. How did I decide that doing nothing was an appropriate response? I am so embarrassed by my lack of action…

I am grateful for Bill’s courage to be so vulnerable, as I know this kind of honesty is often accompanied by guilt. This is not the case with Bill. While guilt brings shame and confines us to focusing inward, conviction, like Bill’s, moves us to the kind of compassion that has the power to transform our own apathy into authentic, others-centered action.

Bill has done battle with his own indifference in a way that is impacting the lives of thousands both in Somalia and in his own backyard. Inspiring and empowering those around him, Bill has raised nearly $16,000 to help with the costs of World Help containers being sent to Somali refugees, providing 640,000 life-saving meals.

But, as I’ve seen through the ongoing efforts of hundreds of students, compassion is not always quantifiable by numbers or money. It’s so much deeper than that. Compassion in action involves the giving of oneself in various propensities—giving of time, giving of influence, giving of words, giving of passion, giving of talent, and giving of mind—aren’t all of these things expected of us who seek to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Another real-life revolutionary I know is doing just that. Cassie Foster is a freshman at my alma mater, Liberty University. I’m proud to know her parents, Kevin and Pam, who have an extraordinary vision to see clean water available to all who lack access to it. Through their partnership with the causelife movement, the Fosters have made a significant impact in developing communities around the world through several local fundraising initiatives.

After a recent trip to the rural villages of Guatemala, Cassie caught the vision of how clean water can change everything for a community—from health and well-being, to education and economy. She dreamed of raising funds for a water project benefitting the very children she grew to love while in Guatemala.

Then Cassie heard of the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa. After reading several of my blogs describing the situation and my visit to Dadaab refugee camp, Cassie was left in tears. As you’ll see in the short video clip below, water is scarce in the region and children are dying by the thousands.

Although her heart was for Guatemala, Cassie knew God was speaking to her, nudging her hands and feet into action for the Somali people. After much prayer and deliberation, Cassie decided that she would begin a campaign to raise money for a water project that would provide clean water to some of the most desperate people on earth.

Through selling bracelets and raising awareness of the cause, Cassie has already received over $4,000 so far for her water project. She hopes to continue raising funds for future water projects in Guatemala as well.

This 18-year-old  is doing more for her world than most people I know—and she’s doing it one bracelet at a time. Her offering, like the boy whose lunch fed thousands, is small, but it will have an impact that far outweighs anything that she ever dreamed possible.

It is remarkable faith, not necessarily remarkable talent or experience, that God uses to change the world every day.

What about you? Are you interested in providing clean water, caring for orphans, or teaching children how to read and write? Do you want to see churches built and widows protected? Perhaps you see the evils of human trafficking and want to dedicate your life to stopping it. Whatever your passion is, God has a place in this world for you to use it for good and for accomplishing His purposes.

I encourage you today, don’t make a commitment in your mind or heart that you don’t plan to turn into action. Act first in obedience, and the commitment will follow as a result.

I invite you to consider for a moment the incredible possibilities in store for those who are bold enough to take that first step:

Just imagine if one person reading this blog decided to embark on a bold journey of faith with God.

Just imagine if, along the way, God spoke to him or her like he did to me during my time in Africa.

Just imagine if that individual spent the rest of his or her life fulfilling the vision God gave.

Just imagine millions of new Christ followers coming to faith because of this passion.

Just imagine if that one person was you.

Just imagine.


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