Altar Call Ė
While a few men were
††††††† In recent days our nationís attention
has been focused on a few men who chose to kneel rather than stand during the
playing of the national anthem. While those football players were kneeling,
several other things were happening. I will mention a few.
††††††† Marcos Wittig, an American missionary,
was busy in Medellin, Colombia, converting a dumping ground for garbage and
bodies into a soccer field in Acevedo, a community of 80,000 people without a
single Christian church. Marcos finds ways to get young people off the street
and off drugs and alcohol so they can find new life playing on his soccer
teams. Oh, and he is building a church on the site of that former garbage dump.
††††††† Scott Moody and Emma Jane Hunt were busy
developing an economic opportunity for poor women in Rwanda who can turn native
beads into jewelry. †Moody and Hunt had
watched job sites in Rwanda where barefoot women carried bags of cement on
their heads for nine hours a day to make two dollars. Their goal: to provide
sustainable economic opportunities for women around the world.
††††††† Ron Houp, CEO
of GO International, a small missions agency in
Wilmore, Kentucky, was busy recruiting volunteers to go at their own expense to
assist struggling people in Houston, Texas. Some 200,000 homes were damaged or
destroyed by the recent hurricane.
††††††† Tyler Vittetoe,
a young Methodist pastor, was busy persuading people to fill buckets with
supplies for hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Caring people
responded with 150 buckets.
††††††† George Partridge and his wife Linda were
busy driving out in the country to serve holy communion to Floy Dawson, a sweet
old lady who was dying with cancer.
††††††† Joy Mahoney was busy putting together
care packages of battery-powered fans, batteries and solar cellphone chargers to
be shipped to her sister Laurie who lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
††††††† Ken Austin, an Air Force veteran and an
African-American pastor, was busy providing food, shoes, clothes and housing
for the poor in a poverty-stricken section of west Montgomery, Alabama. He is
offering young black men a chance to flee the debilitating drug culture, find
employment and live a useful life.
††††††† Larry Cochran, an American missionary,
was busy ministering to pastors in Llucanayacu, a
river village in Peru where Larry is sending a team to help the people plant a
††††††† Pam Miller was busy cutting some of her
roses so she could take a bouquet to John Howard, a 96-year-old Navy veteran in
John Knox Nursing Home. Pam grows roses so she can share them with lonely
††††††† Laura Birmingham, a widow in Montgomery,
Alabama was busy getting women in her church to sew bandana dresses to be
shipped to mission stations in Africa, India and Honduras. So far they have blessed
more than a thousand little girls with these colorful dresses.
Boozer, 83-year-old widow of a Methodist preacher, was busy in Decatur,
Alabama, visiting homebound folks in her church, a task she performs weekly.
She enjoys cheering up old people.
††††††† Coralie McDavid, 91-year-old white
widow, was busy cooking lunch for about 50 African-American children and youth
in a poor neighborhood in her hometown.
††††††† Darrell Pearson, retired college
professor, was busy visiting the sick in area hospitals. Itís what he does for
his church every Monday because he enjoys offering hope to people. †
Mark Glenn, who journeyed last year with a church team to a remote village in
Zambia, was busy raising money to help poor village families buy chicken coops.
A coop, costing $175, could become a sustainable means of income for a poor
††††††† Why all of the above stories of real
people busy doing useful things to help others? This is why: What gets your attention
gets you. There are always better choices to make than getting embroiled in an
ugly debate about men kneeling on a football field. †+ + +