The new wing was complete. No beds or medical supplies, but the walls were up and the roof nailed down. The woman danced and prayed thanksgivings. “Thank you God for your provision. Provide the beds.” At the same time this occurred in Yei Sudan, my husband Steve was meeting with a man in charge of one of the largest warehouses of edical supplies. Steve shared the need in Yei and the man gladly obliged. “Give me a list of what’s needed.” Give me a list? That’s not how charity usually goes. Usually one gives what one doesn’t want, what’s out of date, out of use, or not fast enough anymore. But no, this man said, “Give me a list of what you need and we will fill it.” Steve placed the order. He had no idea how he would pay for the shipment. He sent around a request for help. No response.
Oh, by the way, this isn’t Steve’s job. Steve is the founder and President of Water is Basic. This was just a need he became aware of while doing his job.
He had no money to ship the container. Didn’t matter, Steve was excited. What was needed in Yei had been found in Dallas. Now he would wait for God to provide. Steve contacted Bishop Taban, “We’ve secured supplies for the new wing of the hospital.” Bishop Taban immediately responded by sending a video of the women dancing and praying for those very supplies. Unbeknownst to Steve, the women had been praying for this very thing at the same time he had met with the man from Baylor. Neither Bishop Taban nor Steve knew what was happening on each other’s side of the globe. God did. He used two men, stepping out in faith, to met a need for his people. God does stuff like that.
The time to ship was drew near, still no money. Until finally a church, Bent Tree Bible Church, said they would help. The floodgates opened. Others followed their lead. On Tuesday April 2nd the container was filled.
I wonder how much God would like to do through us, if we would just step up. Radical faith. Radical giving. Radical living. I think of all the resources we have in America. I’m talking excess not necessity. Like the fact that we spend 22 BILLION on storage units even though our houses have tripled in size since the 1950’s. This year alone, we spent 370 million on costumes for our PETS and the average American spends 45,000 on shoes during their lifetime while only wearing 2/3 of them. Excess. What if we got radical in our living, in our giving, in our faith and started to step out and help others in need.
Like getting water to the 1 of 6 people who live without clean water.
Or bringing freedom to the 27,000 slaves worldwide. By the way it’s the largest number of slaves in history. Men, women, boys and girls enslaved.
And what about the 8.8% of seniors living alone in America (1 million households) who are food insecure? Can we do something for them?
Tim Keller, in his book, Generous Justice, states, “There is an inequitable distribution of both goods and opportunities in this world. Therefore, if you have been assigned the goods of this world by God and you don’t share them with others, it isn’t just stinginess, it is injustice.” (Keller, 92) God is saying to us, “Don’t hoard. Don’t be hogs. And for crying out loud ‘don’t shrink from spending yourself on the broken, the hurting, and the needy. I’m good for it.’ ” (Keller, 185)
Thank you Steve and Bishop Taban for showing us how to live by faith. Radical, generous faith. You look a whole lot like my Jesus.