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Today, May 21, is the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine. Hungry people in East Africa are our neighbors in the eyes of God, and Jesus calls us to love them in the same way we love God and ourselves (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31).

Our president Rich Stearns explains how we can be in fellowship with them in their suffering.

Two years ago this month, I attended a service at All Saints Anglican Church in Juba, South Sudan. The sermon was about unity, a fitting message on the Sunday after Pentecost. The service concluded with everybody turning to their neighbors, grasping hands, locking eyes, and saying, “I promise to be in fellowship with you.”

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This post was originally published on this site

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May 21 is the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine. Hungry people in East Africa are our neighbors in the eyes of God, and Jesus calls us to love them in the same way we love God and ourselves (Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31).

Our president Rich Stearns explains how we can be in fellowship with them in their suffering.

Two years ago this month, I attended a service at All Saints Anglican Church in Juba, South Sudan. The sermon was about unity, a fitting message on the Sunday after Pentecost. The service concluded with everybody turning to their neighbors, grasping hands, locking eyes, and saying, “I promise to be in fellowship with you.”

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Today begins the seventh year of the Syrian refugee crisis.

In 2013, when the crisis was relatively young, our president Rich Stearns met 10-year-old Haya in Jordan. The poem and letter she read to him that day became a pivotal moment in his life: “Do you ever think of the children of Syria?”

Hear from Rich about the impact of that moment, and three and a half years later, join us in reconnecting with Haya.

How does God get your attention about something that matters?

For me, God tends to use people, specifically children, to shake me out of complacency. One child’s story can simplify a complicated crisis and bring into sharp focus what’s most important. Statistics and rhetoric fall away when I’m staring into the face of a suffering child. All I want to do is find a way to help.

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Especially as we come together with friends and family during the holidays, we can find ourselves so easily divided by differences.

But we can overcome our differences by focusing on what we have in common and loving our neighbors the way Jesus showed us, both here and across the globe.

This Thanksgiving, Rich Stearns encourages us to pray for those—like refugees—who don’t have the homes, food, and family we celebrate today.

When Reneé and I get all our grown children and their spouses and children around the table for Thanksgiving, which isn’t often, it gets a little complicated. We’ve got five carnivores, three vegetarians, three vegans, one gluten-free eater, and a child with a peanut allergy. So some people can’t eat the turkey. Others take a pass on the stuffing and rolls.

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The global refugee crisis is an opportunity to demonstrate what we as Christians stand for: compassion, not fear; people, not politics; and concern for others. It’s our chance to show that we don’t see refugees as unloved. We try to see them as God does: as made in His image, full of potential, and beloved.

This International Day of Peace, join our president Rich Stearns in reaching out to refugees with love.

 

Do you hate war? I’m sure I know the answer. Everyone loathes war and its effects. Perhaps you or a family member has seen war up close while serving in the armed forces, and if so, you know better than me how horrific it is.

We can pray for peace, but there’s not much else we can do as individuals—or even World Vision, as a humanitarian organization—to actually end conflict. That’s the realm of governments and power brokers.

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What earns humanitarian aid workers the right to speak into the lives of others? Simple: love! Crazy love.

This #WorldHumanitarianDay, hear from our president Richard Stearns about how the example of our staff provokes the question that only the gospel can answer.

Night had fallen in Juba, South Sudan as we pulled out of World Vision’s office after a long briefing. It was risky to drive in the dark in this conflict-prone country, so we—my World Vision colleagues, The Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, and I—hurried to get back to the hotel. Suddenly, out of nowhere, six men in camouflage fatigues surrounded the vehicle, AK-47s drawn, shouting and gesturing in a language we didn’t understand.

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As we celebrate America this holiday weekend, World Vision USA president Richard Stearns reminds us that we are citizens of Christ first.

God has blessed our nation, but for Christians those blessings come with a purpose. See the priorities our faith commands:

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Every year Reneé and I throw a barbeque for friends. We started this tradition in 1976, America’s bicentennial and our first year as a married couple. Ever since, we’ve fired up the grill and laid out a spread of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, and homemade ice cream for as many as 120 people. I’ll never forget the time a guest stood up and read the entire text of the Declaration of Independence. It was hard to get people to come back the next year.

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