Real. Life.

In recent days God has been showing me more and more the need for the church to respond to the needs of the poor. With over 300 references to the poor in Scripture, it is clear that they are close to the heart of God. Today was another step in my journey.

This morning Aaron and I visited the Real.Life. Exhibit at the headquarters of Northwest Medical Teams in Tigard. We spent an hour and a half experiencing their walk-through exhibit. It drew me in even closer to the heart of God. It was much to take in and even more to process.

In the exhibit we stepped into:
•A medical triage clinic at the New Orleans Convention Center after Hurricane Katrina
•A room with a 25-foot tsunami wave
•A Ugandan camp for people displaced by a rebel group that abducts children and forces them into their “army”
•An Albanian refugee camp housing Kosovar refugees who fled from ethnic cleansing
•A Mozambican village where HIV and AIDS has taken too many lives
•A Mexico garbage dump where garbage-pickers live and work
•A Romanian placement center for orphans and abandoned children
•A burn unit in a Moldovan children’s hospital

The purpose for our visit was to preview the exhibit, as we plan to take our students through it during our 30 Hour Famine in February. God had an even bigger purpose...we were changed.

If you are anywhere near the Portland, Oregon area you must experience this exhibit. It was originally a traveling exhibit. Now it is permanently housed at their headquarters. Everyone must see this.


Anonymous said...

The need for the church to respond to the poor is overwhelming--most churches give lip service to helping the poor. I was moved to hear how you were affected by this exhibit and am excited to hear you are taking your students to see it.

A recent book I read that magnifies the real need of being an ACTIVE participant in the kingdom of God is Rick McKinley's "This Beautiful Mess." Rick is a pastor in the Portland area and his church is a prime example of what it means to be active in mercy ministry. Required reading for any pastor! You and your students will be inspired by it.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just wanted to say that I have gone to the Medical Teams International, and toured it, and it has affected me greatly. I have also volunteered there. I am starting a club at my school next year to help the people around the world, and so far it is going very smoothly. It also made me realize that a lot of people want to help, but the problem is they don't know about it, and they are never given a chance to help. If there are more oppurtunities for people, especially teenagers, and more awareness to situations such as the ones exhibited in Real.Life, then the world will be a lot better.

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