If You Build it, He Will Come

Yesterday was Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic. It’s no coincidence that the day we handed out uniforms to these young men and boys is a day that represents the absence of a father for many of them.

When we arrived at the batey, we assembled all of the parents for a meeting. The assembly was mostly mothers and the lack of fathers present at the meeting was very noticeable.

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The Price of Greatness

I heard on the radio the other day that it’s probably the biggest thing that’s ever come to Denver. They were talking about the Democratic National Convention, of course. And they’re right … it is big. The local news has been dominated this week by headlines from the convention.

All this political hype has me thinking a lot about who will be the next leader of our country and what that means for children in poverty. While global poverty may not be one of the “hot button” items on the agenda for the convention, it is by no means an insignificant issue.

In fact, I just read this article about how, according to the World Bank, global poverty is much worse than previously thought. Working at a place like Compassion where we are faced daily with stories of injustice and suffering, I have a hard time not making it THE issue of the election.

However, this post is not about politics or my feelings about who should be elected. It’s about children in poverty and our responsibility to care for them.

Don Miller is one of my favorite authors. He said the closing prayer for day one of the convention, and I thought his prayer was worth sharing.

“Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world?
A lot of people don’t like us, but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world?
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments — but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.

Whoever takes the reigns of leading this country in November has an enormous and very difficult job ahead of him. He desperately needs our prayers. One of the best ways I think we can help children suffering from poverty is to pray for the new leadership of our country.

Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” We are the richest nation on earth. The man who leads this nation holds great power. Let’s pray that he uses that power to help right the injustices in this world.

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