I was very ill as a young child. I had a lung disease that left me breathless after walking a few feet, much more out of breath when trying to run, climb, or jump. I was thirteen before I began to grow out of it, but I had been through a lot before then.
My illness always hit me hard when it came time for PE, physical education, class. That was when we divided up into teams to play sports.
I was never the first one chosen for the team. I was usually chosen last. Everyone knew I would have little to contribute. My best contribution would be just to stay out of the way.
Little League Baseball was more than a sport in my hometown. It was more like a religion. Parents had a lot to say about the make-up of the teams, and they organized try-outs. I tried hard, but I was never picked to be part of the best team. I always wanted to be part of the winning team.
Christianity offered me the chance to be a part of the winning team, to be part of the group that will make a real difference in the world. Christ’s church was the leading force in many of the good things I saw around me. It still proves to be a great influence today.
Here are some of the ongoing accomplishments:
Operation Christmas Child impacts over 7,000,000 of the world’s impoverished children each year with gift-filled shoeboxes.
World Vision, a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization, assists more than 70 million children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief serves over 600,000 meals and purifies over 250,000 gallons of water per year for those devastated by disasters.
Mercy Ships has performed more than 1.7 million medical services valued at over $670 million and influencing more than 1.9 million people as direct beneficiaries.
Medi-Share has allowed Christians to give more than $275,000,000 to meet each other’s healthcare needs independent of healthcare insurance.
Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown a remarkable impact.
Christians lead the fight against slavery and human trafficking in the modern world.
Prison Fellowship partners with hundreds of local churches and agencies across the country to bring Christ’s love to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families.
World Changers uses teams of Baptist youth to rebuild the homes and the lives of thousands of families impacted by poverty and tragedy.
These facts do not mention the countless daily ministries of local churches all over the world that meet the needs of Christians and Non-Christians alike. What more could you ask of an organization?
Christ said of His church, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I am finally part of the winning team. The church truly advances the gospel in word and deed.
[1/31/09 Update. Adrian Warnock has a Book Challenge over at his blog. I am linking this older post to that site for a chance at a free book. This is shameless self-promotion.)