Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Conspiracy 02: Spend Less

A group of Living Water International missionaries and Advent Conspiracy visionaries visited an AC well in a Liberian village. The area had been ravaged by theft, so Living Water had installed a lockable protective steel jacket over the new well’s pump to prevent it from being stolen. The village had taken an additional measure—they encased the entire pump in concrete! Only the pump handle and spout stuck out. We asked what they were going to do if we needed to repair the well in a few years. They said they would gladly spend days chipping it out of the concrete with hammers. They said that that was far better than spending days without water to drink. They had seen all the death they could stand. Jesus had given them life for Christmas and that was a gift too precious to lose. When we asked what they wanted next Christmas, they asked for a well for the neighboring village.

Not one of the North Americans there could even remember what gifts we had received the previous Christmas. None of us had ever received a gift we loved so much that our first reaction was to want someone else to have it. Meanwhile, children all around played with little cars they had made out of plastic talcum powder bottles with wire axels and wheels cut from sandal soles, happy as can be, without spending a dime.


• “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26) What does this translate to in terms of practice?

• “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49) Were you brought up with the same view as Ezekiel regarding the “sin of Sodom”?

• “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11) What does it mean to be “trustworthy” with wealth? What are “true riches”?

• “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) What is one step you could take in the coming week towards trusting God’s sufficiency.

• Americans spend $450 billion on Christmas. Two percent of that, $10 billion, would provide clean drinking water in Jesus’ name to half the world’s people who need it. Is this doable? Or is it a crazy pipe-dream? 


No comments: