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Growing Awareness

I think a lot of different things happened to raise my awareness of the problems of poverty and injustice.  For one thing, I started hanging out with Mike King.  He’s trying to do a new kind of youth ministry, so I hang out with him because I like to see how he’s training young people.  One of the things he’s trying to do is help kids understand what’s going on in the world.  He introduced me to the Feed the Hunger program, and when I read about human trafficking in the newspaper I asked him what he knew about the Not For Sale Campaign.

As I started learning about problems like hunger and slavery, I started reading more about them.  And when I did that, the suffering of these people grabbed my heart.

Also, I have a little boy now, and I’m feeling this strong fathering instinct.  I’ll do whatever it takes to be sure he’s fed.  I feel this powerful sense of compassion, and I want to make sure my family is safe.  I really feel for the people that are trying to do whatever it takes and they still can’t feed their children.  That would be devastating to me.  Like I said, it grips my heart.

I’ve been over to a teenage homeless shelter, and I learned a lot of things.

I wondered why teenagers are homeless.  Are they running away?  And I learned something shocking.  Yes, some of them are runaways.  But a lot of them have come out to their parents and said that they are gay, and their parents kicked them out.  These kids are on the street because their parents want nothing to do with them because of their sexuality.  They get kicked out of their houses, and they get trafficked.  They get sent out as prostitutes, because they have to go.  Something like 80% of the girls in one of the shelters had been trafficked at one point in time, or had been raped, or had to have sex for money to live.  They have no choice, they die.

How do you look at that?  This is not light!  There is something so wrong with this.  As a believer, as a Christian, I don’t favor the homosexual lifestyle.  But it’s not worth throwing my son or my daughter out on their own, saying, “Fend for yourself.”  Because they’re going to die!  They’re either going to die emotionally, or they’re going to die physically.

It’s so sad, and so confusing.  It’s happening in our own country.  There’s no love.  There’s no understanding of the concept of love.  I just don’t get that.  Maybe I used to understand.  Or maybe I never really understood, but maybe I used to be able to ignore it, or say, “Okay, whatever.”  But now I’m not okay with any of it.

All these things are hitting me now.  God is showing me.  And the more I pray about it, and the more I ask Him to show me awareness, He just shows me more and more of this stuff.  And it doesn’t overwhelm me.  It doesn’t make me say, “God, there’s no way I can ever help.”  It actually stirs me.

It stirs me to want to join or to start a movement.  I’m not saying I want to start an organization.  I have one of those already.  I want to start a movement.  Think of what Martin Luther King, Jr. did.  He caused a whole country to embrace his dream and say, “Whatever it takes, we need to create justice where there is injustice.”  I know King died for that, but I think there has to be something like that now.

One thought on “Growing Awareness

  1. Jeremy,
    I love this blog entry.
    I am a youth pastor in New Brunswick, Canada and have just started a ministry called Boaz Lighthouse International Ministries. Our focus is on reaching out to at risk teens, those either living on the streets or those in dysfunctional homes. My heart is to mobilize churches and believers to get involved in making a difference in the lives of those that are hurting.

    I love your heart for social justice and for God. I so appreciate you using your platform as an athlete to make all of us think about our responsibilities.
    I will be praying for you that you will be His light in this hurting world.

    If you ever get an opportunity to come to this end of the country I would love to have you come and share your story and message.

    I have started to follow you on twitter and look forward to reading your blogs.
    Pastor Scott Wood

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