Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent, Week 1

This year for Lent, I am taking part in something that I actually did last year. It is a part of ACT:S, The World Vision Activism Network. Last year, I participated in the activities they had for celebrating and growing during Lent. It was called Lent 2011: Relentless Acts of Justice. Each week of Lent, you are told a story about a family or people from another country who experience in justice in different areas. Then, you are challenged to make sacrifices that emulate these injustices around the world. I learned a lot during this time and felt very challenged in my day to day life.

This year, I wanted to participate again. I signed up and so did Cassie and Tripp (which I am very excited about them joining me)! The challenges and experience is set up a little differently this year, asking for more creativity and less actual sacrifices. So, we decided to do the same activities as last year. There is a lot of variation and flexibility in the activities so I am able to do this without feeling like it's all something I've already done.

The first week, February 26-March3, was about Worthlessness. We learned of a mother who is in a situation where she is unable to help her children go to school or get proper nutrition. There is just extreme poverty where she is and she is stuck. It seems that in her culture, her children and her life are of little worth to others in the community. We were challenged to think of things that are of worth to us, like the food we eat and the luxuries we have access to every day. We were asked to either fast a meal a day or give up some luxuries or some variation of this. I decided to stop wearing contacts, to dress plainly (not jewelry or headbands), to not listen to music other than the radio, and to not eat snacks or buy extra food.

During this week, I was really appalled at the amount of luxuries we have. The list of things I could give up for a week was astounding. There are so may material things we take for granted each day!

We were challenged to think about how we value others and how we value the things we have in our life. We were challenged to think about what it means for someone or something to have worth. We were reminded how much God values us:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are

you than the birds!” --Luke 12:22-24

We were asked to pray for those around the world who are treated as worthless, those who don't know there is a God who values them so much, who is constantly seeking us and loving us. We were asked if we were valuing other people as much as God values them.

This was a great week and I am excited for what I will learn and see as we learn about Helplessness this week :)

Have a great week!!

--nothing without HIM--