I ran straight to my keyboard when I saw Holley Gerth’s prompt for this week’s God-sized dream group: Share about your favorite nonprofit organization. They are all God-sized dreams in action.
There are a number of organizations that I adore and to which I contribute. But there is one big, global, making-a-difference organization that I have supported for a while: World Vision.
Truth be told, I didn’t know a lot about World Vision until I read A Hole in the Gospel by their CEO, Rich Stearns. I wrote about my personal journey through this powerful book. This is a man who heard God calling him out of a major comfort zone (he was CEO of Lenox), and even though he struggled with it for a while, he made the decision to join World Vision as its CEO and has served in that role now for 15 years. This is a God-sized dreamer. He wants to end the premature death of children around the world. He wants to end world hunger. He wants to reform the church from a group of comfortable bible study attending folks driving their luxury cars to a set of sold-out passionate followers of Jesus. He wants change. Big change.
This is the man who leads World Vision. That is important to me. World Vision is one of the world’s largest nonprofit humanitarian organizations, with 45,000 staff (97% work in their home country), dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. They serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world – all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. This is how they frame their mission, “Wherever we work, our prayer is that our efforts will be used by God to heal and strengthen people’s relationships with Him and with one another. We do this by demonstrating God’s unconditional love for all people through our service to the poor — which includes providing for daily needs, working to build peace and promote justice, and partnering with churches and individuals to encourage spiritual transformation.”
What if that was our prayer everywhere we went in everything we did? Heal and strengthen relationships. Demonstrate God’s unconditional love. Promote justice. Oh. Change. Would. Come.
I sponsor Dickson from Zimbabwe. I’ve sponsored him for a couple of years. But I’ve also given a goat, a water well, and I’d like to begin helping their recovery program for sexually exploited girls. I am thankful for the increased attention on human trafficking as of late and am grateful that World Vision is ministering to that at-risk exploited community.
What would the world be like without these God-sized dreamers? What if Rich Stearns said, the problem is just too big to tackle? Instead of , Not me Lord, the folks at World Vision are saying, Send me Lord.
In his new book, Unfinished: Believing is Only the Beginning, Stearns laments that modern day Christians have lost the fervor of the early church, “We’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees. We forget about the bigger story of what God has called us to.”
If your dream feels like a forest, a story too big for you, then maybe that’s exactly where God wants you. To do what He’s calling you to do that you couldn’t possibly do without Him. Remember the forest. This story is so big and we’re being called to play a part. What a tragedy if we missed the opportunity.