Archives for category: hope

The statistics can crush us, if we let them sink in.

Every year, over 3 million people die from water-related disease. 

Every day, water-related disease claims the lives of 5,000 children under the age of 5, or roughly one death for every 15 seconds that pass.

Over 800 million people around the world do not have access to clean water.

I do not want to live in a world where kids die for lack of access to clean water.

As a follower of Christ, I firmly believe that God’s heart aches for the suffering.

It has been a dream of mine for several years to participate in a well-digging trip. This past summer, I was privileged to lead a team from our church community in partnership with Living Water International to dig a well for a community in need in Granada, Nicaragua.

I love the work and ministry of LWI. Through clean water projects, LWI shares the living water of Jesus to bring the true hope that changes everything.

On a personal note, there are very few things as satisfying as collapsing into bed at night, completely exhausted from giving it all for the Kingdom.

This Kingdom of God is near: In the hard work of digging through the mud and hauling pipes, in the laughter of speaking broken Spanish with giggling kids from the neighborhood, in newfound friendship working side-by-side with local community members.

I learned so much from Jorge, the leader of the Rivas LWI team. His patience and humor helped guide our team through a week filled with plenty of challenges. From a ministry perspective, I deeply appreciate LWI’s approach of training, equipping, and consulting with local leaders. Rather than showing up with all the answers from an outside perspective, I believe effective and God-honoring ministry is founded upon a posture of humble listening and genuine partnership.

We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with LWI. We’ll be sending a team to Guatemala this year, and another team to Nicaragua next summer. It’s a privilege and joy to be a part of God’s redemptive work in world, to share the living water of Jesus and a cup of cold water in His name to those in need.

This post is the third in a series about our church community’s recent trip to India in partnership with Justice Ventures International.

I’m not sure if was the heat/humidity double-punch combo, the growing realization that injustice permeated so many levels of culture around us or, perhaps, the jetlag playing catch-up with me, but my first thought when arriving in Kolkata was, Can we go back to Chennai?

While Chennai is a massive city in its own right, the humanity stacked upon itself throughout Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) can make it seem like a small town in comparison.

In Business for Freedom

Our team had the privilege of working with Freeset for a couple of days while in Kolkata.

Read the rest of this entry »

This post is the second in a series about our church community’s recent trip to India in partnership with Justice Ventures International.

The first city our team visited was Chennai, India’s fourth-largest city with a population between eight and nine million people. As a board member with JVI, it was a great joy to be able to visit the staff in Chennai personally and see the office in which they work.

Slavery Today

While in Chennai, we had the incredible privilege of visiting a village of former bonded slaves who had been freed, in part, through the work of JVI. We might imagine slavery as history, something we read about in school from which we’ve moved on. The brutal reality, though, is that there are millions of people enslaved today. Read the rest of this entry »

I just returned from visiting three cities across India in ten days with a team from my church community here in San Diego in partnership with Justice Ventures International, on whose board I serve. Putting into words all that we saw and experienced is extraordinarily difficult — in each city we visited, each day felt packed with a week, and the overall impression was a sort of “everything all at once.”

In this series of posts, I’ll share a bit about what we did, but more importantly, highlight people and organizations on the ground who refuse to be overwhelmed by the evil of slavery and human trafficking but, rather, hold fast to hope and continue to fight on behalf of those being crushed under the weight of sin.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

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This summer, I will be going to India with a team from our church community in partnership with Justice Ventures International. I’m so excited for this convergence of my worlds (I’m one of the pastors at United and a board member with JVI), and I deeply appreciate your prayer support.

For a glimpse of the amazing work JVI does in India, please read this quarterly update. JVI works to rescue women, children, and men from slavery and to empower the vulnerable with legal resources and training.

Here is a quick glimpse at our trip: