A Movement to Bring Joy to the World

In April 2012, I published my first book, To Stir a Movement. It describes my coming of age as a baseball player, and as a man. It explains my passion for loving my neighbor as myself.

You might ask, what movement? Who is your neighbor? How do you show your love?

The movement I have in mind begins with awareness. It begins with the awareness that people all over the world, our neighbors and God’s children, are suffering. It’s the awareness that we are called to help.

This is awareness that goes much further than just knowing the world has problems. We all know the world has problems. I’m talking about a much deeper awareness. It it a profound awareness that you can help. You can make the world so much better.

How? Well, you can take part in ending the hunger crisis. Or you can play a role in ending the water crisis. You know what? You can help provide homes and families for orphans. You can even help end human trafficking, and restore the lives of its survivors. It’s true! You can do this!

And when you do, you’ll discover an awareness that goes deeper than anything you imagined. An awareness deeper than knowing. Deeper than doing. You’ll discover the awareness of the joy that you just created in someone else’s life!

You see, when you help someone, you give them joy. They feel joy because of you. Because you helped them. That joy is nothing less than the love of Jesus. That’s the awareness I’m talking about!

In 2010, two young women went to Uganda on my behalf to help build a well in a village in the south. Generation Alive, the youth organization I founded, built this well in partnership with Living Water International, a water charity headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Those two young women sent me pictures. I got to see what happened the day they busted the well. As clean water poured out, the kids were standing under it. They were washing themselves in it. This was clean water and they were rejoicing. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Now 90% of the diseases in their village are history. All it took was good, clean drinking water.

Here’s a video of the dedication of the well:

Look at the faces of those kids! Look at the joy that’s on their faces! That’s just for water! It’s the same water that’s in my toilet bowl, and these kids are actually rejoicing in it. This is so awesome! We flush our toilets every day and we don’t even think twice! Right? When do you flush your toilet and then rejoice over the water that’s in the bowl?

If I wanted to, I could go to a restaurant and say, “I don’t like this water, I’d like a different kind. Bring me the one in the blue bottle.” It’s that easy for us. We can actually choose our drinking water based on brand, or flavor, or bubbles. In Uganda, we’re talking about kids that are rejoicing because finally, they have water that simply isn’t dirty. Finally, their water won’t make them sick.

When those two young women from Generation Alive walked through the village, people rejoiced just to see them. The kids latched onto their legs and held their hands. They danced and sang for them, and they said, “We thank you so much! You’re a part of our lives now!” All we did was help them, but it earned us an invitation to speak into their lives. My girls got to sit with them. They got to talk with them. They just got to love on them.

That’s the cup of love. It is fabulous. It’s the love of Jesus!

And that’s what stirs this movement. It’s the love of Jesus. Give it a shot! As soon as you help create joy in someone, you’ll know. You’ll know by the way it fulfills you. You’ll know by the way that your spiritual hunger gets fed. You’ll find out that there’s something inside of you that craves Jesus.

Those who have Him want more of Him. You know why? Because He’s awesome.

See you Friday.

Help Them Dream

I am so blessed to be able to dream really big dreams.

Like playing in the World Series! It’s the most awesome opportunity. We are really excited for tomorrow night’s game!

But did you know that there are children in the world today who never get a chance to dream? I thought slavery was a thing of the past, until I read about a human trafficking case in the newspaper. At first I couldn’t believe that slavery could still be happening in today’s world. But it is, and it’s on a pretty large scale. So I said, “What can I do? Let’s figure out what we have to do, and get it done!” That’s how I became a part of Team Not For Sale.

I am free to pursue my dreams, but these kids have been forced into situations of fear. That’s why we’re trying to help them. We help set them free. Then we help them dream again.

You can help them too! It’s easy to do, and you’ll find a stunning and unexpected joy when you do. Check out my youth organization for more information. We respond to opportunities to help end poverty and the trafficking that goes with it. We’re a Generation Alive!

Learn more about NomiS and hear more of his poetry and music here: NomiS | Authentic Hip-Hop

Young Leaders Fighting Hunger

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Timothy was a very young person, and someone encouraged him saying, “Don’t let them look down on you because you’re young. You have good leadership skills.”

I’m looking forward to being with Generation Alive and Youthfront at our Something to Eat event this Saturday in East Palo Alto. I remember our first Something to Eat event, in Spokane in 2011. (Back then it was called “Feed the Hunger.”) The event was a direct experience of the leadership skills of the young. Our young people have really good leadership skills. At these Something to Eat events, they step out in front and they lead entire communities of people.

SomethingToEatAdults follow their lead because they see these young people getting excited about doing something that means selflessness, not selfishness. These young people say, “We want to serve. We want to serve people who are hurting. We want to get outside of our own selfish needs. We want to help other people, because we have and they don’t. We want to help with that.” At any age, fifteen years or thirty-three years, that’s pretty exciting.

The effects of the leadership of the young aren’t limited to just one day or just one event. In 2011, the event inspired a Spokane church to call and say, “Our fourth graders have challenged our high school youth group to a Something to Eat meal kit challenge. Who can package the most meals?” The public schools volunteered to host an event. A guy that worked at a bank stopped in to see what we were doing and said, “What if we got together and did this as a bank?” Well, that’s no problem! We’re mobile. We can go to all these places: churches, schools, banks, and more!

And there’s even more to what these young leaders accomplished. You see, now any time there’s a crisis, they’re going to be able to unite a community. They built faith within their community, and now, if a crisis like the one in Haiti or the Philippines hits and we launch a Something to Eat campaign, the whole community is going to know what we’re doing. They’ll know who we are, and they’ll join together to help.

Those kids back in 2011 really got excited about how good they felt. They brought the money, because they went from house to house. They did whatever they could. Their parents didn’t do it, they did. And now they can say, “We did it. We put 75,000 meals into the food banks. And people were fed.”

It really feels good to see people getting excited about feeding the hungry. The Gospel of Jesus Christ feels good. Our community is finding fulfillment because with every meal we package, we feed Jesus Christ Himself. In January 2011, we packaged 75,000 meals. We fed Jesus Christ 75,000 times! Think about that!

When you feed the Son of the Most High God, you can’t not be fulfilled. The love and compassion that goes into that is your ultimate fulfillment. It’s why you’re here!

Know It All

People have said they think I’m a know-it-all. Even my own teammates! They’ll say, “It seems like you have an answer for everything.”

I don’t feel like I have an answer for everything! But I pray for wisdom, and I pray for perception and insight. If someone asks me a question about my faith or my work, I don’t want my answer to be, “I don’t know.” It doesn’t make sense to me that anyone would answer a question that way. When you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I’m going to find out. I’ll tell you, “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

People ask me a lot of questions! As a result, I have done a lot of research. I’ve learned that when you do enough research and answer enough questions, you will accumulate quite a lot of knowledge. Now when you ask me a question, I just might know the answer.

I’m trying to gain wisdom. I’m trying to gain insight. I’m looking for understanding. And I’m doing it because I believe this is what Jesus has asked us to do. When Jesus said that He wanted believers to go into the world to preach the Gospel, I really don’t think He wanted us to sound like idiots. I don’t think He wanted us to be dumb. I think He wanted us to be intelligent, and to show perception and insight. That doesn’t mean He expects us to sound like a bunch of know-it-alls. It means He wants us to have wisdom.

You have to use wisdom in all areas of your life. You need wisdom in your marriage, and you need it to raise your children. Yet I think people forget about wisdom. They forget about perception and insight. They don’t want to read, they don’t want to research, and they don’t want to understand. They’re too content with, “I don’t know.”

I’ve signed on with charitable organizations only to find out that what they do is not right. When that happens, I leave. I’m out. I can’t be associated with organizations that lack wisdom. This isn’t because I can’t forgive, because I can. It’s because there are ramifications to what we do. When you lack wisdom, you might find yourself going down the wrong path. I believe Jesus has called us to something better.

I want wisdom for my organization, Generation Alive. I want a reputation as an organization that uses wisdom to do things. That’s why I partner with groups that show a lot of wisdom, like Not For Sale, Something to Eat, Living Water International, and the Global Orphan Project. I think it’s because of their wisdom that God has led me to them.

You know what else? They have clear reasons for doing what they do, and I think that’s important too. That’s something we all need to have. More on this next time. See you Thursday.

One Million Meals

Million Meals

Whitworth University students invite you to come alongside us in an exciting endeavor; one that has never been done before.

Who: Whitworth University students, faculty and staff, Gonzaga students, and the greater Spokane community, along with Generation Alive.

What: One million meals will be packaged. Each meal contains rice, vegetables, soy protein and vitamins.

When and Where: May 3, 2014 at Whitworth University.

How: Raising $250,000 and gathering support of 2,000+ volunteers.

To volunteer on May 3, please sign up here. For volunteer information, please e-mail aevans14@my.whitworth.edu.

Why: Hunger is a serious issue in Spokane. According to Generation Alive, there are around 90,000 people who are food insecure in Spokane County—in our neighborhoods, on our campuses, in our city. Whitworth acknowledges the fact that it is part of the Spokane community. We have the resources and the manpower to give to the greater Spokane community, and we are contributing with excitement, passion and joy.

To donate and help this amazing endeavor simply CLICK HERE.

The Holiness of Success

Sometimes people wonder what keeps me focused on social justice. They ask me, “What makes you do all this for other people?” Well, I do it because I care about other people. I love them, and I love the God that created them. It’s the same God that created me. He saved my life! So I want to help save others.

I’m focused on success for the same reason. I focus on success because I want to achieve something, not only for myself, but for those who do not have. I’m talking about those who do not have food, or clean water, or a mom and dad to love them, or even basic freedom.

I’d love to see that same approach to success take root in the world on a global scale. Continue reading

Know It All

People have said they think I’m a know-it-all. Even my own teammates! They’ll say, “It seems like you have an answer for everything.”

I don’t feel like I have an answer for everything! But I pray for wisdom, and I pray for perception and insight. If someone asks me a question about my faith or my work, I don’t want my answer to be, “I don’t know.” It doesn’t make sense to me that anyone would answer a question that way. When you ask me a question, if I don’t know the answer, I’m going to find out. I’ll tell you, “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.” Continue reading

One World Futbol

One World Futbol makes an unpoppable soccer ball. You can try to pop it! You can squash the air right out of it, but it just fills back up.

You’ve probably seen pictures of kids in refugee camps or slums receiving soccer balls as gifts. But what happens when the balls pop? Those children don’t have lush soccer fields to play on. They play right in the road. What happens when they kick the ball into a barbed-wire fence? Or into some thorn bushes? Even if they avoid those scenarios, the ball skids over the rocks in the road. Eventually it tears a hole and pops, or a stray dog gets hold of it and bites through it.

The One World Futbol is immune to all that damage. Continue reading

A Giving Spirit

A big shout-out to Chris Haft of MLB.com for writing a really flattering and well-timed article about my efforts to be a man after God’s own heart. In a piece headlined Affeldt’s giving spirit lasts year-round, Chris wrote about our upcoming Something to Eat event in Redwood City on December 3. Here’s an excerpt:

Now Affeldt is directing his attention and passion toward “Something to Eat.” Approximately 400 students — members of Generation Alive, the non-profit organization Affeldt founded — will gather in Redwood City, Calif., on Dec. 3 to package meals for the Kenyans. Affeldt intends to fly in from his home in Spokane, Wash., to assist in the effort. Northern California Urban Development, based in East Palo Alto, will partner with Generation Alive to further the cause.

Affeldt’s proud of the volunteers for Generation Alive, a group formed to empower young people through active service. Many of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds, yet recognize the need to help others.

“It’s an awesome sight to see in a world that seems so selfish at times,” said Affeldt, 32. “You see kids serving people just out of purely wanting to make a difference.”

It’s a great piece. Chris nailed it. Read the full article here.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the King of Kings, I’ve been reflecting on the purpose of life.  You know, why we’re here.  I’ll be writing about this between now and Christmas.  See you Tuesday.