Over the past year I’ve begun a deep dive into reading about the lives of specific Civil Rights leaders whose voices and stories have most often been relegated to the shadows. Women like Rosa Parks, Septima Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, and many others who made tremendous contributions towards the restoration of dignity in the fight against the United States’ very own apartheid system. I began this spiritual practice because it is always from voices quieted by society or by history that I have much to learn.
In Scripture, both the Old and New Testament were also written by quieted voices. Many books were written from the perspective of the powerless, the captive, the impoverished, the homeless alien, and the persecuted who heard the invitation from God to stand up against injustice, to point towards Love in all they did, and to lift up the vulnerable in their midst. Their weaknesses were celebrated and it was through those weaknesses that the strength of God’s love and grace was made manifest.
We also have many modern-day quieted voices to learn from and celebrate, like LUV’s indigenous directors and their staff in Sudan and South Sudan. These men and women tirelessly seek to serve the most vulnerable in their communities. They attend to the exploited, the hurting, the broken, the weary, and take small daily steps to spread hope, healing and Love in their communities. They strive toward a future vision and hope that is not reflected in their current experience. Yet, even still, they remain committed toward raising up a new generation of peacemakers in war zones for the tomorrow they may not live to see. To me, these leaders are our modern-day weak and wounded heroes, who through their very lives point the way toward something MORE.
Yet, even as Rosa Parks shared that we must never fear doing what is right—and certainly the act of lifting up vulnerable children at-risk to exploitation is good and right—the work is difficult, dangerous, and often thankless. That’s where you and I have the privilege to participate as we support the leaders in our network who daily stand in the gap and offer LUV to the most vulnerable in their midst. Because the act of lifting requires strength and we are strongest when we work together.
FOUR WAYS TO SPREAD LUV TODAY
1. GIVE FOOD — Every June two locations in our anti-trafficking network—New Life Ministry and Hope For South Sudan—require a six months’ supply of food to be trucked to them. Our Father’s Cleft, however, already received their food for a whole year because of how isolated they are. Although LUV is taking long-term steps toward equipping each location to become food independent through farming, everyone still requires food to be imported from neighboring countries. Six months’ worth of food for these two mission locations costs approximately $230,000. This may seem like a lot but it actually is only around $2.60/meal/child. Give a one-time gift today designated to “Where Needed Most – Food” and help us offer nutritious, life-saving food to the children in our network!
2. CONNECT THROUGH SPONSORSHIP — For just $6/day you can stand in the gap for a vulnerable child in Sudan and South Sudan through sponsorship. Sponsorship provides for the total needs of the children in our network, like housing, education, medical needs, mentorship/discipleship, and so much more. In 2008, complete care sponsorship costs were set at $105/month. Due to inflation and rising costs to provide resources in war zones this total care cost has also increased over the years. Connection is at the heart of sponsorship and is deeply important to our children and the sustainability of the anti-trafficking network. Because connection is key at LUV we want to encourage you to engage in sponsorship at whatever donation level you are comfortable with—including partial care to total care. Renew an existing or begin a new reoccurring monthly or annual sponsorship today designated to “Sponsorship” and connect with some of the most vulnerable children in our world.
3. ENCOURAGE — Send an email message of LUV and gratitude today to the indigenous leaders in Sudan and South Sudan. We’ll make sure James, Peter, Ezekiel, and their teams receive these important messages of solidarity and encouragement!
4. SHARE LUV — We are strongest when we work together! Help share LUV with your friends, families, and colleagues and invite them to join the movement of lifting up the most vulnerable in our world today. Share free newsletters, emails, or social media posts to encourage, inspire, and equip your community to take small steps towards LUV.
During the Civil Rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer united hearts through her passion for justice, her resolve to remind her world that all have dignity, and her deep and powerful voice—letting her little light shine and encouraging others to live, give, and serve as a light unto the world. You are needed in this journey, too. Join us.