Participating in suffering to give birth to something more: A Good Friday reflection

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"When we join in with others, hope rises from ashes and the beauty of God’s Kingdom intensifies."

A Good Friday reflection from blogger Benjamin L. Corey: how Jesus was greater than the suffering in our world … and how we're invited to follow in his footsteps.

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As someone who makes his living writing books and giving talks, I am well aware that all compelling stories are marked by a meaningful introduction and conclusion. How one introduces the story, and how one ends the story, has the ability to send a message that will reverberate long after the story is over.

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    My favorite conspiracy

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    What could happen if we invited our churches to celebrate Christmas differently?

    Read about the "Advent Conspiracy" — a movement to make Christmas a revolutionary event by worshiping fully, spending less, giving more, and loving all. 

    And … see how next week you can make twice the gift and send twice the love to families in need!

    ***

    In the face of upsetting world events and unsettling debates about how to respond to those events, I’d like to tell you about my favorite conspiracy. In fact, I’m asking you to be a part of it.

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      Faith rises from communism’s ashes

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      Faith without works is dead—but in Armenia, faith-fueled works are breathing new life into a nation that is rising from the ashes of communism and walking into a bold future.

      Read about this resurgence of faith, and how Armenia's young Christians are taking action.

      Faith without works is dead—but in Armenia, faith-fueled works are breathing new life into a nation that is rising from the ashes of communism and walking into a bold future. - See more at: https://blog.worldvision.org/content/faith-rises-communism#sthash.D3mU4f...
      ***

      For those of us blessed to live in a country where faith is a protected right, we might just take that freedom—or even faith itself—for granted.

      But when I visited Armenia last spring on assignment for World Vision magazine, I witnessed the devastating reality of what happens to a nation when God is outlawed.

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        A revolution of tenderness

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        Living a Gospel-centered life is "revolutionary precisely because it begins and ends with service." Jesus himself came to serve.

        Guest blogger Elizabeth Esther explores what it means to serve with a tender heart … and how we can live that revolution every day.

        ***

        Just before coming to the United States, Pope Francis offered a gentle entreaty: “We are asked to live the revolution of tenderness, as Mary our Mother did.”

        The revolution of tenderness.

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          Throwback Thursday: Impossibilities made possible

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          Fourteen years ago, World Vision launched the Hope Initiative: our groundbreaking effort to engage U.S. donors and churches around the tragic effects of HIV and AIDS around the world, but especially in sub-Saharan Africa, which was hardest hit.

          Today, our Chief Catalyst Steve Haas takes us back to 2001 when this initiative began, to look back at the challenges faced … and the "unimaginable" transformation that's happened.

          See where the AIDS crisis is today, and how you can continue to help bring hope to those affected.

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          In the early days of the Hope Initiative, our mission to awaken the U.S. Church to the ravages of global HIV infection could have easily been relabeled, “The Impossible Dream.” Every indication was that much of the U.S. Church populace was resolute in their stance that AIDS and those whose lives were impacted by it were none of their concern.

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            Blessing our neighbors

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            After traveling 9,000 miles to Kenya last summer, author Debbie Macomber felt God ask her, "Where is your home?"

            See the blessing that Debbie discovered through her trip, and how today she's planning to reach out to her newfound neighbors.

            ***

            The journey to Kenya, as Kari Costanza wrote, was 9,000 miles. I knew because I flew those 9,000 miles with my husband, my daughter, Adele, and two of our granddaughters, Bailey and Maddy. A 9,000 mile trip forever changed us.

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              With God on our side

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              Places like South Sudan and Syria are where the poorest of the poor cling to survival. But with God on our side, "We can bring the light of the Gospel into the world’s darkest places."

              See how you can answer God's call in the fight against extreme poverty.

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              Today’s headlines can feel overwhelming. Racial conflict, famine, poverty, war, and violence seem to shout from our mobile screens and news feeds. These threats loom like Goliaths in front of us, taunting the notion that God’s people could ever conquer them.

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                Beam me up, Jesus

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                Our new interactive World Vision Experience truck transports you virtually to three of the harshest places on earth: to witness despair and hope in a brothel in Bangladesh, see how God is working in the midst of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and join Christ in the midst of extreme poverty in Uganda.

                Earlier this month, pastor John Torres and Goodwill Church in New York hosted the Experience truck. See what this eye-opening experience is like, and how you can participate!

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                From June 4-7, we had the equivalent of a Star Trek transporter in our parking lot at Goodwill Church in Montgomery, NY. Instead of making people disappear and then reappear in tiny fragments of sparkling light, however, the World Vision Experience transported our ideas of mission.

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                  Following Jesus into the margins

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                  In the last 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by almost half! But at the same time, extreme poverty has receded to the most violent and vulnerable "margins" of the world.

                  Join us today as we take on these most vulnerable issues of our time.

                  ***

                  At World Vision, we have always seen the world a little differently. When we turn on the news and see the devastation caused by global crises—war, earthquakes, exploitation—we immediately think about the thousands of World Vision staff members responding to the needs of families and children in those situations. People who are freely giving their lives for “the least of these."

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                    God’s great love for this world

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                    All around the world, in places like Haiti, World Vision works to transform bad news into good.

                    Today for Good Friday—when death transformed into life—our president Rich Stearns writes about the transformative power of God's love.

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                    Perhaps nothing speaks more of God’s love for us than the agony of Good Friday. John 3:16 captures the essence of Good Friday: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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