Daily Topic for January 19, 2011

Isaiah 58:10
If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

There is significant overlap between the unreached people groups without a church in their midst and the hungry half of the world without adequate physical and material resources. Isaiah reminds us that the people of God are called not only to spend their money to feed the hungry, but also to spend themselves, to pour out their lives in sacrificial service. That service cannot be a mere token. It must satisfy the needs of the oppressed. Isaiah also points out that those who serve receive the fruits of service: healing, answered prayer, guidance, personal provision, and joy.

Pray that our Gracious Father will teach us to spend ourselves on behalf of those who are desperately hungry both for bread and the Bread of Life.

Community Development Work

by Kyle A.

As the civil war and humanitarian crisis in Darfur quietly slip out of the headlines, the gaping hole that remains is the lack of opportunity for the millions of people who have been forced out of their homes and resettled in and around the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps. They are crowded into makeshift tents, and scrape out a living from relief shipment rations and the meager sources of food available in the rugged Jebel Marra Mountains. It is a fragile day-to-day existence for thousands of Sudanese, who must depend on the UN and aid programs to survive. There is no opportunity, and nothing to empower the local population.

There are a small handful of organizations trying to fill this void by helping launch businesses that can create jobs in the community. One of these startups is a guesthouse in a town that has become home to hundreds of thousands of IDPs. This business is doing more than just providing workers with a paycheck; it is helping employees move from a life of dependence on others to the dignity of earning a living. It also serves as a model for how a business can succeed in changing lives in this desperate region.

In addition, the guesthouse is reaching out to the enormous IDP population in the area by supporting programs like AIDS prevention training, a home for orphan boys, an adult education center, and clean water projects.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for Christ’s Name to be glorified through these efforts.

Next day: Buduma People of Chad

Previous day: Youth Work in Sudan