I grew up near Detroit, and when I was a kid the city was booming. My father’s business depended on millions of people buying cars made in Michigan, and for most of my childhood business was great.
It was more than great.
I never new what it meant to need anything, because I could have anything I wanted. Private jets and expensive cars were just part of life.
But when the jobs went away and everything changed for me, I got a quick lesson in what it meant to live “without.”
Life went from very easy to incredibly hard, and that is when Jesus found me in my brokenness and gave me purpose. Along the way I learned to really care for people who struggle to have their basic needs met. I know what it’s like to live with, and I know what it’s like to live without.
Part of my purpose has become to call people to “Stop watching and do something.” And it’s been amazing to see people respond.
Just after we started iwontwatch.com, we met our early goals so quickly. Compassion then asked us if we would help stop malaria in Togo.
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Now, the other thing Michigan has besides cars is mosquitos, and I worked for a couple of years at a camp where the swarming mosquitos could really bug people!
But the whole time I was there, no one ever got sick from a mosquito bite. None of our campers had high fevers and horrible hallucinations from sitting by the campfire. No one died after sleeping without a bed net.
So that’s why I’m thrilled to say that our goal of raising $15,000 to help beat malaria was met in about eight weeks. I want children in Togo to be able to sit around a campfire like the kids in Michigan and not get sick.
I know that watches are temporary, just like shirts, shoes and so many other things are temporary. Just like my dad’s great job was temporary.
But it’s really amazing that I now get to connect the “temporary” to the “permanent.”
Each watch represents a meal to be given to hungry children, medical care when kids need it most, and help for children who are being exploited or abused.
When I talk to a group at an event or at a church, I get to explain how my relationship with my sponsored children is changing their lives. But watches have opened doors to that conversation in the craziest places!
I’ve gotten flight attendants and waitresses and drive-thru baristas to help Compassion make a difference. I call it all part of joining the “watch revolt.”
It just takes one person to stop watching and do something to make a difference.
Would you consider joining the Watch Revolt?
Together we can end extreme poverty in our lifetime. Make today the day you stop watching and start doing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E. J. Swanson is a nationally recognized speaker and founder of I Won’t Watch. E. J. and his wife, Abbey, sponsor Milvia.