Friday, June 01, 2007

A Worldwide Read

Last week on vacation, I had some time to read this amazing new book by Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone. This work is the personal memoir of a young boy's experience of running from war, being captured by war, and then being rescued from war. This short book is a page turner, well-written, and incredibly powerful. Ishmael's story reminds us that the world is always desperately in need of peace, and that our experience as Americans is not the norm for most people growing up in the world. As I've talked here before about the need for us to be global Christians, I was again reminded of the importance of engaging worldwide humanitarian needs in our attempts to take the gospel to every person on the planet. I would highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this book somewhere and spend some time reflecting on what difference it should make in our comfortable lives as Americans.

One great Christian organization that is involved in international justice issues is called International Justice Mission. IJM's leader, Gary Haugen, is a committed Christ-follower, and a servant of the world's most dejected and abused peoples. His organization is growing every year, and is continuing to impact those who are struggling with injustice in the poorest places in the world. The organization that ultimately helped Ishmael out of his situation was UNICEF, the UN's children's fund. To see Ishmael talk about his experiences and the book on CNN, you can visit the book's website and see the flash video.

God, help this generation of young Christians and pastors get involved with your heart for justice in the world.


Brent said...

Just finished this book in a day...

Wow. My 15 year-old goes to Mexico to build houses and feels as if she's "roughed it."

hearthomekids said...

Took my 16 yo to see Mr. Beah at a book signing in Dallas. He's really a seemingly friendly, open, happy young man. One comment he made was that he wanted people to know that Africa wasn't this horrid place with nothing but drug users, rebel armies and AIDS victims - that although these problems are real and present, that the place he grew up was just a quiet, beautiful place and that when the war came to them, it seemed just as strange as if the rebels walked into Flower Mound one day. Another question he answered was about his faith. He said he was still trying to figure that out. He was raised a Muslim, rescued by Christians, and adopted by a Jewish woman.