3 AM Thoughts: 65 Million Dollars

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There’s some talk of Jesus and serving others in here, so you’ve been forewarned.

3am

 

On Friday, news outlets were reporting about Creflo Dollar, an Atlanta pastor of a megachurch, starting a crowdfunding campaign for 65 million dollars.

What’s the money for?

A state of the art, luxury, personal jet to use in reaching lost souls for Jesus.

confused

Er…

It pissed off enough people to cause an online uproar which resulted in Pastor Dollar’s plane fund page being pulled. That’s a shame because I had a moment of brilliance:

He should continue the crowdfunding, but not for the fancy-shmancy flying machine. I thought up of a few ways the 65 million dollars could be spent that would actually, you know, display the love of Christ. If someone could pass the link to this page to Pastor Dollar, maybe it could become a reality.

Don’t laugh. It might happen.

Anyway, on to some of my radical ideas.

Sponsor Kids in Poverty

It’s staggering to realize how many children are living in abject poverty in this world. Millions of little ones around the planet die of preventable illnesses and malnutrition. Then there’s the expense of school that makes it impossible for impoverished children to receive an education. I sponsor a girl from Colombia through Compassion for $38 a month, which helps pay for her schooling, medical care, and nutrition. What kind of impact would 65 million dollars have if used to sponsor children in dire circumstances?
The youngest child I saw on the website that needed sponsorship was just a year old. Depending on the program the child is involved in, sponsorship could last up until the 22nd birthday. For the sake of this example, 65 million dollars could sponsor roughly 6,479 children from the age of one until the age of twenty-two. That’s almost 6,479 kids that would given the chance to flourish beyond their difficult situations.

Heal a Child

I heard about Cure International a few years ago during a drive to raise money for cleft lip and palate surgery for a fifteen year girl in Afghanistan. She was seen as a monster in her village and rarely left her house. She didn’t have the opportunity for schooling and no prospect of having her own family. That changed when she got the surgery that not only repaired her external deformity, but brought the light back into her eyes and hope in her life.

That’s what Cure does.

When parents are told their kids are curses or monsters because of hydrocephalus, clubfoot, or other medical problems, the people at Cure Hospitals tell them that Jesus loves them and their children, and the doctors heal these little ones in the operating rooms. They perform all sorts of surgeries, but let’s stick with cleft lip and palate surgeries. Those operations average about $1,000. 65,000 children could have this surgery done with a 65 million dollar donation. 65,000 children wouldn’t have to endure being shunned and called monster.

That’s a worthwhile investment.

Give Clean Water

In ten years, Blood:Water Mission has brought clean water to one million people in Africa. They want to make this happen for another million, but within three years. A twenty dollar donation means clean water access for a person. With 65 million dollars, 3,250,000 people would get clean water access. If all of Pastor Creflo’s donors got together to donate, Blood:Water could exceed their goals and millions would have safe drinking water.

Buy a Coat for a Youngling

Imagine being ten years old, waiting for a school bus, in the middle of a frigid winter morning. Now imagine having to wear a too-small coat or no coat because your parents had to decide between getting you a new coat or paying for groceries. I’m from the Midwest and I can’t even fathom braving the harsh winters without a warm coat. Yet, many children deal with this scenario and many miss school during the winter because it’s too cold to venture out without the right outerwear. Operation Warm gives brand new coats to children, who desperately need them, all over the country. For ten dollars a month for a year, six children can get brand new winter coats. 65 million dollars means 6,500,000 children would get brand new coats to keep them warm during the winter and help reduce school absences.

Pastor Dollar, if you’re reading, I hope you take these ideas into consideration. Rather than buy a sleek piece of metal you’ll eventually replace (again) to go tell people that God loves them, invest the 65 million dollars you’re seeking to tangibly help people who can’t give you anything in return. It’s what God expects you to do: be the hands and feet of Christ to the least of these.

And you are not too good to fly commercial.

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Gravel Road (poem)

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(Back when I was a moody teenager, I used to write a lot of angst ridden poetry.  A majority of it sucked, but I should look for them.  I’m sure they would elicit a chuckle or two.  Anyway, I’ve haven’t really written poetry since college, but I thought up this poem and decided to just go with it.  Not my best writing, but that’s okay.  God is mentioned, so if you have a deity phobia, read at your own discretion.)


 

I limped on a gravel road,
my feet were bruised and bleeding,
I searched for a bit of hope,
darkness, instead, greeted me.

My eyes were blurry from my tears,
no relief could be found.
I tasted the saltiness of my sorrow,
before each drop hit the ground.

“God, do you love me?
Where have You gone?
My hope is fading fast.
I no longer can hold on.”

My feet gave out
and the gravel bit my knees.
I closed my eyes
and wondered if He’d heard my pleas.

I laid on the gravel road;
my spirit was undone.
I waited for Death to take me,
while I whispered my regrets, one by one.

In the midst of the darkness,
a silver mist came from the east.
It circled my broken body
and my pain decreased.

From the mist came a voice,
gentle yet not tame.
“Courage, young one!
Brave heart!” it exclaimed.

Anger swelled within my heart.
“I can’t! I’ve had enough! I’m done!”
Before the mist vanished, the voice said,
“The road is long. Courage, you must go on!”

Though weary in body,
I knew I still possessed much fight.
Though it was a struggle,
once again, I was upright.

I still limp on that gravel road,
my feet bruised, but my steps more sure.
I’ve savored more than a bit of hope,
moving from darkness to light, I now can endure.