two little men

Isn't it strange how God can use the most common things... things that may seem so insignificant to others... to speak directly to your heart?

He did that to me on Saturday night as I was scrolling through my Facebook wall on my phone. I came across this check in at Mi Pueblo, where a small group of us had gathered to discuss the Micah 6:8 Project...

Had she tagged us in a different order, I wonder if I would have even noticed. I wonder if I would have stopped. I wonder if I would have cried...

But tagged as we were, my heart was assaulted by the vision of two little boys, both on the water... 

One, my son. My very own profile picture. I love this picture of Zach, such JOY, such ABANDON, such FREEDOM. He was at the lake with friends, a place of recreation and fun and laughs and adventure. 

But not for the little boy in the next picture. Not for the little man captured by Christy Farhar. The lake for him... a place of bondage. Work. Pain. Enslaved in Lake Volta's fishing industry along with 7,000 other children. The joy of the little white boy next to him, surely a distant memory... if he has ever known it

And as I thought about this... 

Oh, how I wept. 

I wondered... what would I do, if it were my Zach enslaved on that lake?. What ends would I go to rescue him, to bring him home, to let him know that I love him... to make sure He is safe and secure? How much money would I spend? What sacrifice would I make? My very own son, the one whom I love from the depths of who I am... how far would I go?

But the truth is, friends, the little man in Christy's picture is no less our son. He is no less our flesh and blood. He is no less valuable. No less in need of a hope and a future. No less in the eyes of God. Just because I have not yet put my arms around his little brown body... He is no less mine to care for. 

He is no less yours.

Think about your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews... if they were trapped in slavery, forced to work fourteen hour days, fed one inadequate meal, uneducated... how far would you go? What sacrifice would you make?

I challenge you... to let your mind go there. Really rest in that pain for a moment. Because in the Kingdom, he is ours. And if you would go to the ends of the earth to rescue the one you love, should you not be willing to do the same for the one He loves? Should our hearts not break for the things that break His? How far would you go?

Yesterday in church, Seth shared the story of the Grapevine Faith football game against the Gainesville State School in Texas. How the whole town of Grapevine rallied around the boys from Gainesville- the boys brought in on a maximum security bus with twelve armed guards. How the parents of the Grapevine players sat behind the Gainesville boys, cheering them on to hit their very own sons. How the cheerleaders stood in a line and cheered on the Tornadoes, even though the front of their uniforms said "Lions". How they rooted for the Gainesville boys instead of their own kids... because that's what Jesus would have them to do. 

And the whole time he was talking, as the tears made their way down my cheeks, I thought of the picture of two little men on my Facebook wall. One I do not know, and one that I would die for... and the Lord challenged my heart... would you root for this little naked child over your own? Would you cause your own son to sacrifice from abundance, so that this one could have the most basic of necessities... food, clothing, freedom.

photo by Christopher Knopf, September 2012
That is my challenge for you today, friends. Look into these eyes... and see the one you love. Wrap your mind, even if just for a moment, around the kind of life these children in Ghana know. 

And then resolve in your heart to do something to help. Don't just look in his face and then closing your browser window, forget. What does the Lord require of you? But to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 He requires us to look into this face... and then to reach down our very own hands to help. He requires it, friends. Acts of justice are not something the Lord takes lightly... and when He called us to be His hands and feet, sometimes it will look just like this.

I realize that not everyone will walk in this dusty African soil, take the broken by the hand and lead them into a new life. But there are ways you can help from right there, where you are... whether you are on your couch or at your kitchen table or sitting at your desk at work or in your car... There are ways that you can reach out a hand to the least of these. To the ones who can never repay you. To the ones whom, if you would bend your knee and look in their eyes you will realize look an awful lot like the ones you love the most. Wherever you are, whether you have much or little, there is something that YOU can do. 

You can partner with us at the Micah 6:8 Project to build a residential and vocational center so that more children can be brought home off the lake. Our partners promise a monthly gift of any amount, and will be the backbone of this project, sustaining it for years to come. Bringing a hope and a future.

Or you can join us in our first annual Prayer 5k. For gifts of $35 or $50, you can join us in our goal of raising $5000 and 5000 prayers for this project... making a way for a mission team to travel to Ghana in November to look at land that has been provided by the very hand of God, land that is ours for the taking if it meets our needs. Land that will allow us to build the orphanage to house kids who deserve the same education, freedom, love, hope that we desire for all of our own children to have.

Are you willing? 

Are you willing to sacrifice from your own child's abundance, so that the children of Ghana may have the most basic of necessities? Is it worth $50 to look into the eyes of this little boy and know you have done something to help? Oh, if that were my Zachary wrapped in brown skin... oh, there is no sacrifice that would be too great... am I willing to open my eyes to the truth that this one I have never met, is no less mine? No less a part of my heart? 

I see it now. I see it in a whole new way. Two pictures of little men on lakes, lakes that are a world apart geographically and emotionally... a casual scroll down my Facebook wall... and my heart is wrecked. I can't stop crying. I can't stop wondering what more can I do? 

If you feel as helpless to help as I do, I would ask you to visit The Micah 6:8 Project to see how you CAN help. Give a financial gift of any amount. Join us in our Prayer 5k (a 5k that involves no walking or running, instead 3.5 days of prayer for this project and the lives it will touch). There are only five days left to register, and we are only a third of the way to our goal of one hundred people to participate... one hundred people. Surely there are one hundred of you whose hearts will break for the things that break His? Surely there are one hundred of you who are willing to sacrifice $35 or $50 to bring freedom to the lives of children... surely...surely there are.

I am willing. I have looked into those dark brown eyes and seen my own children. Are you willing to do the same? Are you willing to love on Jesus the way He really asked us to love on Him, not through arms raised or voices loud... but by loving the very least of these? Pray about it friends... and then do something...
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
Father, would you move our hearts? Lord would you break our hearts for what breaks yours? Will you bring each of us an individual revelation of that which you've required of us... what it really looks like to act justly? to love mercy? to walk humbly? Would you open our eyes to the needs of this world and show us, Father, that if we sacrifice for you, that if we give in the way you have asked us to give... that we will not have to worry about a thing. That you are the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and that you have us covered? Move on hearts today! Father I ask that you bring abundant support for the Micah 6:8 Project, that you would continue to confirm your will for this home in Ghana by bringing the project exactly what it needs! Lord I thank you that you are a God who is able... a God who is able to humble my heart and show me where I have failed to break, a God who is able to do this incredible thing in Ghana, a God who is able to use something like a check in at a Mexican restaurant to challenge my heart and change my mindset... I love you so much... Let us do this for YOUR glory!

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