40Acts: 15: Stand Up, Stand Out

From the daily prompt:

What causes make your heart race? Which injustice makes you angry? Today’s the day to be an ambassador for a charity or a cause you love. Your mission is to let someone else know about that charity; whether you do that face-to-face or online is up to you. Stand up for something today, and use your voice for good.

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8

Oh dear. I rather hang my head in shame here. The above verse is one that I trot out when someone asks me what my faith means to me, together with what I used to think of Jesus’, and every other Christian who followed him, “Mission Statement:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18,19)

I think that this should be the work of Christians everywhere, but I’m afraid that all too often I am happy, bimbling along in my own little life, and I fail to connect with the world beyond my limited horizons. I get easily upset, be it about cruelty to animals or to humans, when I watch news reports about humankind’s inhumanity and unfeeling-ness towards others – and yet I turn away and quickly forget what I have seen. My concern is shallow and means very little.

I used to be a member of Amnesty International, and I would write four or five letters a month to heads of state or other influential people, but when we moved here that petered out. And really, I have done very little, and certainly nothing that has caused me anything more than a minor inconvenience, to stand up for what I believe in, to support others in pain, to set the oppressed free or to act justly. I buy Fair Trade coffee. Whoop-de-whoop.

What causes my heart to race? Which injustice makes me angry? Maybe because there is just too much injustice and oppression in the world I no longer allow myself to be stirred into anger and action because I feel useless…or maybe it is just because I am lazy, and comfortable and set in my ways.

I’ve even copped out on this challenge a little, by contacting a Follower to ask if he wants to write a Guest Post about a charity he supports. He’s not replied yet, but I will post if he does. It is an interesting sounding charity, and I think that I will get involved, but I’m not burning for passion about it (not yet, anyway!)

I currently support two other charities though, which I will tell you about.

1. Spanish Stray Cats is a tiny charity, run by English and Spanish people, rescuing and homing stray cats in the Cadiz area of Spain. They pay for transport to the UK, Holland and continental Europe if people wish to adopt a cat who has been rescued, sometimes from horrific circumstances. One story is of an area where the feral cats live, and local hunters will take their dogs there and let them loose among the cats for a bit of “sport”…one cat was rescued with terrible injuries caused by dog bites. At the moment I knit wobbly blankets for the shelter and try to send a bit of money too.

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This is Nadia who was terribly burned. SSC have paid for her vet’s bills. You can read more here

I know that many people think that animals don’t deserve help as much as humans; that the injustice and oppression meted out to people is more deserving of our concern, yet animals are as much a part of God’s creation as mankind, and they cannot defend themselves against humans’ cruelty. In my opinion, to hurt an animal for sport, for fun, is as horrific as torturing or killing another person because they are a different religion or colour…

2. Diannah School of English For the past two years I have gone to the UK over the summer to work at a summer school (and this year I’m going as well). I teach English to children from fairly (or very) wealthy families from all over the world. I go to earn money for me. One of the teachers goes to earn money to support the school that she set up, teaches in and pays for in Senegal – the Diannah School of English. The children and adults of the area can go for English lessons free of charge, I think, and for something to eat.

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Last year, at Lines Summer School, some of the students and I sold popcorn at the disco to raise money for Hawa’s schoolchildren to have a breakfast/ snack before their schooling. Throughout this year I have been collecting some money, and a few resources to give to Hawa when I see her in the summer…maybe you could think of donating to help these youngsters improve their English and their education so that they have the possibility of a brighter future.

3. Lend With Care Hopefully I’ll have a Guest post to tell you about this one, in the near future.

If nothing else, perhaps you could go to the two Facebook sites I linked to and “like” their pages. I don’t know much about how FB and “liking” works, but I think it is a Good Thing if people like you.

I think I am drawn to charities than either support people, and help them to help themselves (Hawa’s school or Lend with Care, for example) or to animal charities (especially cats!) but…really, I should learn to allow myself to get angry, to become concerned, because it is only through being concerned that I will be able to shake off my sloth and get off my arse and DO SOMETHING!

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2 Responses to 40Acts: 15: Stand Up, Stand Out

  1. Pingback: 40 Acts: Guest Post: Lend With Care | View from the Teapot

  2. Jean says:

    Well written. I too have fallen off the charity band wagon since moving to france. The homeless cat one struck a cord as I lostmy yellow tabby, Ginger, two days ago to cancer She was a rescue kitty. Macy, her kitty friend, a Maine Coon is over 18 now and this might do her in. Rescue kitty as well. The loan charity sound like something I could do.

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