Compassion? : God Please Help Me Understand How!

“Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world”
James 1:27 The Message)

 

india campus crusade for christ(2)

 

Looking across the road in Bangalore India, I was to see a simple banner that would change my destiny.

After my call to the prayer line at “Jesus Calls Prayer Tower” I made a decision to go to their main office and see who these people were. Directly across the road I saw a banner for an event at India Campus Crusade For Christ and I immediately thought of my father who had faithfully supported organizations like these and especially “Youth For Christ”.

I decided to find the headquarters and while taking a taxi to find it (the driver had no idea where it was) he asked a young man on the street if he knew, and this young man jumped into my taxi to show us where it was. This became my dear friend Samuel and a powerful witness to me of a young Christian man.

His example put me to shame…

I made a video with Samuel back in 2010 for my kids to talk about what I was doing and in the video Samuel gives a description of what happens here at the orphanage. (The full video is later in this post if you want to see it):

 

bangalore_india_2010

 

Compassion?

One of the central questions I could never answer effectively is “Ok God, If your so loving, then why are there so many hungry, poor and exploited people in the world?”

On my trip to India in 2010 the Lord spoke to me in a much different way, with love  but with firmness.

Through this experience I was faced with 1000’s of hungry children beggars literally in all corners of the city. These kids would flock to anyone walking through anywhere. They would motion with their hands to to their mouths and grimace that they were hungry. My heart broke time after time. I gave what I could but there were hundreds and thousands and tens of million in this country without basic food and shelter. I came to learn how these kids were so exploited with anything you can imagine. Stunning in your face poverty not only of food but more than that, poverty of spirit and hope.

My friend Samuel took me to the Mother Theresa orphanage where mentally disabled babies are discarded literally on the curbside or in a dump and volunteers take a truck, pick up these dying babies and care for them. I walked through a hundred or so cribs with these kids in various condition and was stunned by the callousness by which they were discarded and then the love and care of these people of god caring and loving these children.I thought Lord these are lives, these are your kids. This was only one of many hundreds orphanages just in Bangalore.

Heartbreak

I would go back to my room and stare out the window and weep, that I had ever thought I was owed anything. Reading the story of Bill Bright, I thought How had I felt I had the right to intoxicate myself with things to make me feel good, things like of course alcohol or drugs, more more subtly things like clothes, cars, women, my business life and the pursuit of “getting mine”.  what had occurred to me was that without even thinking in the West, we treat our pets better than this!

These indulgences were all for one reason and that was to make ME feel better. I could see that I was so rich by the worlds standards. I live in a warm home, with amazing food and my family is close to me.

parischis

When I see someone like Paris Hilton with her doggie wearing a ten thousand dollar necklace I get physically sick. At what point do we draw the line? It’s the excess of trying to find things to please ourselves in such a pathetic way. Enough said.

After this trip and in the subsequent years that have followed, I have come to understand that it is not my place to question God with a shallow statement like:

“If your so loving, then why are there so many hungry, poor and exploited people in the world?”,…….NO!

The question GOD is asking me is:

“Steve, Let me ask YOU, why are there so many hungry, poor and exploited people in the world?,  I GAVE YOU FREE WILL. I GAVE YOU MY CREATION. I gave you the world to be a good steward of it. What are you doing with your part in it?. Why are you so indulgent and self absorbed when you know there are so many in need?”

Gulp…..

So I decided to do what I can. Samuel and I did visit India Campus Crusade For Christ where i learned the story of Bill Bright and the history of Campus Crusade Fro Chirst. If you have never heard this story it’s worth hearing.

Then,  I met a man who would change my view of life.

KIDS FOR CHRIST INDIA

His name is Abraham. He was just retiring from India Campus Crusade for Christ after 30 years of dedicated service. Rather than retiring to a beach somewhere, he and his wife Mercy had it on their hearts to begin an outreach to kids in Bangalore and throughout India, Siri Lanka and the greater Asia region to form “kids clubs” where these kids could come together in a community environment where they could witness first hand the love of Jesus through people.

With a lifetime of ministry experience, Abraham and Mercy are uniquely gifted to develop a long lasting, well organized out reach to Bangalore, India and Asia as a whole.

 

 

Orphans in India

Watching this ministry grow has been one of the cornerstones of my physical healing as it gave me a reason to get up and do something at least small to reach out beyond my worries and daily problems.

It has been astounding to witness.

Abraham partnered with an established ministry who have groups all over Asia and the first program was in 2011 with about 200 kids participating.Then in 2012 the ministry really took off. I was amazed to see that over 400 kids were at the 2012 Christmas show and neighborhood groups were forming throughout Bangalore and other cities. They had another Christmas program on December 2013

These kids now have a place to go to experience first hand the living Bible through direct interaction with people who love and care for them in their own neighborhoods. They have weekly “kids clubs” where these precious lives can find hope, love and healing.

 

Pretty cool….

 

A Big Vision For India

I see these volunteers in selfless service making a real difference. Abraham has become though my relationship with him over the past three years as someone I trust. He has a long history of service to Campus Crusade For Christ and has carried that in this ministry of faith and works. I can envision thousands of these kids club’s reaching the very kids I witnessed on those streets in Bangalore.

Highlights from the 3 years of ministry  where kids are being taught that they too are children of the King and that they have an inheritance!…I’m telling you it’s a thrill to see this happen!

[acx_slideshow name=”1″]
2011, 2012 and 2013 Christmas Shows Bangalore and Siri Lanka

It’s my hearts desire to introduce ministries like Abraham’s to people here in the west, and find churches who might come along side of these ministries to make a big impact..

 

Orphan outreach
Abraham , Charles, and the faithful volunteers with Mercy

 

 

Here is the video we made that day at the Mother Teresa orphanage in Bangalore:

 

It’s been hard for me. Abraham lost his short battle with cancer May 28th 2017.

His life example and our metting in India by divine appointment kept me going for years.

Blessing to you my brother

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