Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the first-ever issue of Reject Apathy.
Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Nuclear disasters. Crazed dictators. War. Sex trafficking. Blood diamonds. Rape. Poverty. Racism. Disease.
The stark reality of all the “bad news” in the world can leave you reeling. Like a high school physics equation with a minute amount of force working against a massive, immovable object, at times it can feel impossible to make a significant impact.
But consider one more piece of bad news: According to World Vision, 24,000 children die each day around the world from preventable causes. Preventable causes.
We may not be able to stop a tsunami, but we can prevent malaria deaths by providing inexpensive mosquito nets. We may not be able to halt a tank, but we can end the fatal transmission of parasites by equipping impoverished communities with sanitary water for drinking and cooking. We may not be able to cure AIDS (yet), but we can supply medicines that prevent transmission of HIV from a pregnant mother to her unborn child and that extend the lives of AIDS patients so their children aren’t left orphaned.
There are many things we cannot do—but there are countless things we can. And there’s a new opportunity to directly provide medicine and clean water to impoverished children around the world that may surprise you...
BUY A BIBLE, HELP A CHILD
“Stand up for the poor and the orphan; advocate for the rights of the afflicted and those in need” (Psalm 82:3, The Voice). There are many ways we can answer this call, but here’s a new one: purchase a Bible.
Publisher Thomas Nelson has committed to donate a significant portion of the profits from every Thomas Nelson Bible purchased from a U.S. Christian retailer (through March 2012) to World Vision’s child health fund.** In other words, part of what you spend will go to supplying anti-malaria medication, HIV/AIDS drugs, vitamins, clean water and nutritious food to children living in some of the most impoverished areas of the globe. Your purchase of a copy of God’s Word will make an impact in the lives of the hurting in God’s world.
“You may be the only Bible others will ever read.” Perhaps it’s cheesy—an overused axiom worthy of a baby-boomer email forward. But it’s also true. Ultimately, we proclaim what we believe about God, His Word and His world through our actions. As we serve, as we give, as we stand against injustice, we put God’s Word into action. We make His Kingdom visible to the world around us.
And when we don’t—when comfort and spiritual inertia win out over action and compassion—we present a very different “Bible” to our friends, our community, our culture.
Along with their financial donation, Thomas Nelson is working to mobilize the Church into living active lives of justice, compassion and service through a new “God’s Word in Action” campaign. Their website provides information about local and global needs, scriptural insights on poverty and justice, inspiring stories of ordinary people putting faith into action, and weekly suggestions for practical ways to embody your faith.
As part of this campaign, their new Take Action Bible highlights compelling examples of everyday people responding to the bad news in the world as they give, go, heal, serve and teach in Jesus’ name. For Thomas Nelson, it’s not just about publishing Bibles—it’s also about inspiring Christ-followers to clearly proclaim that Word through our actions.
The needs in this world can overwhelm, but God isn’t calling you to address every single one. Your call may be to address poverty a continent away, or it may be as close as your apartment building: the immigrant family who needs help learning English, the single mom who’s exhausted and in debt, the widow who seems to be always alone.
Apathy, inertia, inaction—they have no place in the Christian life.
You already believe this. Now... take action.
Stay tuned on the World Vision Facebook page on Friday morning for a special giveaway of the Take Action Bible from our friends at Thomas Nelson.
Thomas Nelson is a proud sponsor of REJECT APATHY
**Applies to sales at U.S. Christian retail stores only from April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012. Thomas Nelson will donate 10% of its year-over-year net revenue growth achieved during that period to World Vision, with a minimum donation of $75,000. Just look for any Bible with the Thomas Nelson “house” logo. For more information about World Vision, visit WorldVision.org.