The World is Changing
It doesn’t have the newsworthy quality of sequestration, or the appeal of the NHL lockout, but the world has been changing. Really? I didn’t notice anything. But not all world changing events are immediately recognizable. You may have some memory of this old nursery rhyme:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the message was lost.
For want of a message, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. The point is that small actions can have large consequences.
Let me tell you about one small action that is changing the world. It started inconspicuously enough when a small group of people got together in the town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan, to be trained as mentors in a Mission: Literacy project. There are a number of Burmese refugees that have moved to Rosthern through the sponsorship of a number of local churches. The children arrived with a minimal understanding of English, but they were placed in grade levels that were appropriate to their ages, not their understanding of English. That put them behind the proverbial 8-ball. Many of these children are being tutored by Mission: Literacy volunteers, and they are seeing improvements in their reading skills. I went to Rosthern and spent some time chatting with Marian Jones, who is the local coordinator for the project.
Volunteers from Hands On Ministries will be trained before they launch their version of Mission: Literacy in the city of Saskatoon. Wow! The world keeps on changing.
The ministry has also been launched in Vancouver through Urban Promise. More than 30 teenagers were trained as Mission: Literacy mentors. Do you really think that this won’t change the world?
In 1 Thessalonians 5.17, we are told to pray without ceasing, and I would like to invite you to invest some of your prayer time in Mission: Literacy. Here’s a verse you may want to pray on our behalf. Jeremiah 29.11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If you are part of a small group, could you ask your group to pray for us? Could you ask your church to include us in your bulletin as an item of prayer and to bring this need before the congregation? I am continually challenged by the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
In my next installment, I will talk about another ministry project for which I would like to have you pray. In the meantime, I will be attending, in Philadelphia, a workshop being presented by the Trauma Healing Institute. There is a program being conducted in various African countries called She’s My Sister, in which Biblical materials are used to help women overcome the traumas they have faced. It has recently been launched in the country of Rwanda that suffered a terrible genocide in 1994 – the country still hasn’t completely healed from it. We are assembling a group of First Nations leaders to assist us in determining whether or not this program would fit in Canada. James 1.5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask and He will give it to us liberally. Please pray that we will have God’s wisdom.
Let’s trade prayers.