The cinematography is incredible. The images of poverty and hope draw you in. The stories of the people will break your heart, ignite your passions and wreck you (in an awesome, heavy, passionate, gut wrenching kinda way).
When the credits roll and you sit in the theater (or living room, or church or wherever) it is not over. The question hangs in the air. Heavy. Overwhelming. God-sized. What will you do?
The first time I watched 58:The Film I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How could I make a difference? What can I do? Throughout the movie I was struck by the amazing contrast between those with hope and those without. In one scene in particular a boy (perhaps 12ish) says he has dreams…but he’d rather they be taken away as they’ll never come true. Bonded slavery stemming from a loan issued to his parents has stolen his family’s life (because breaking up granite for pennies a day is no life for a man, his wife or his children), his family’s joy, and their hope.
It was that loss of hope that hit me strongest.
With the credits still rolling on the screen my heart was already looking for the what…the how…my piece. And immediately I thought of “our” Compassion kids. We’ve been given a unique opportunity. To shine a little light, stuff it in an envelope (or even write online!!), and send it across the 1000’s of miles.
I wanted to be intentional about offering these children we sponsor (and write to) the hope that we have in Jesus. And within days the first opportunity arrived in a letter with pictures and hand-drawn art on the back. A prayer request for our sweet Andrea’s dad…he has no job right now.
Letter in hand. I knew I had to write. Right then. And somehow, in a few hundred words I had to share Jesus…do something more than just say the words “we’re praying” or “God will take care of it”.
I wrote that we were praying. And then I wrote what we were praying for her…”We are praying for your father to get a job. I hope by the time you receive this letter he will have one. I want to share the verse I am praying for you all. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 God sees all our needs, Andrea. And He will provide a job, and for your family’s needs. And I ask Him everyday not only to provide for you (and your family), but also to help you know His truth and remind you how much He loves you.”
I have a very sweet friend who writes prayer letters. They are beautiful and very moving. And, oh! How I wish I could write something like that. But alas…that is SO not my gift. But in this letter I was writing I was moved to tell Andrea what I was praying for her in the new year.
Here is what I wrote:
…for the new year coming I have many prayers for you.
I pray that God will remind you everyday of His love and affection for you. (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16)
I pray that you read the Bible and begin to learn how God’s word is for you. (All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16)
I pray that God will provide for you and your family in ways you can’t imagine. (Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20)
And as I signed that letter. I began to pray the God would deliver light, hope, and Jesus through this tiny offering of words on a page. That somehow this light would shine into a little girl’s life magnified through Him. Into her future. Into her family’s future. For generations to come.
This is just one piece my God-given puzzle. One piece in our family’s puzzle. God has given us the pieces and we are prayerfully putting them together…the picture on the box?? Well, I’m sure it looks like Jesus and as we begin to assemble our lives to fit His pattern to others it will look like light, hope, love and our Jesus.
Father, thank you for organizations like Compassion International, that allow us the opportunity to shine Your light in places where poverty hangs heavy and dark. Thank you for films that open our eyes, touch our hearts and stir us to Your action. Please guide our steps as we seek to live out our God-given purposes. Father, thank you for our Compassion kids whose letters and pictures touch our hearts and whose lives you’ve allowed us to whisper Jesus. Let our whispers roar like the Lion of Judah in a world that is cluttered with noise and distraction. Thank you for Joy. For Light. For Hope. For Jesus. Amen.
Have you seen 58:The Film yet? Thoughts? How are you getting involved?