Tag Archives: compassion

Helping charity:water

Congratulations! With your help, Vitamin Angels reached its SocialVibe goal! Becoming Last readers clicked their way to giving over 28,000 days worth of Vitamin A. Those are real lives that you impacted. Awesome job!

Now, we have a new charity to help. Let me introduce you to charity:water. Here is how they describe themselves:

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. We give 100% of the money raised to direct project costs, funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person in a developing nation clean water for 20 years.

Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. That’s one in six of us.

These folks are top notch. Everything they do, they do well. And they are doing terrific work in the places with the greatest need.

For those of you new to Becoming Last, I’m not asking for money. Just ten seconds of your time, once a day. That’s all it takes to help. To learn more about charity:water, watch this video. To learn how to help, scroll past it, and I’ll explain. Trust me, it’s easy! 🙂

How to help:

  1. Visit Becoming Last once a day.
  2. Click on the SocialVibe charity:water widget to your right.
  3. The sponsor donating money for each click is Colgate. You’ll see a screen that says, “Create Your Smile Story”. All you have to do is click “submit”.
  4. Then click “Send it” and you are done! You can leave me a little message on the last screen if you want, but that’s optional!

With three clicks of your mouse, you will help donate what equates to 146 gallons of drinking water! Wow. Too easy.

Thank you for all the help!

How can you Become Last today? (hint: 3 clicks = 146 gallons of drinking water!)

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The Battle With Trust

Today, I decided to take part in Bridget Chumbley’s “One Word at a Time” blog carnival. The word for this week is “Trust.”

At first glance, I wasn’t quite sure how trust would fit in with the theme of this blog. I guess that’s why taking a second look at things are so important because I’ve come to realize trust is absolutely essential to becoming last.

Trust and I have been wrestling for quite some time. It’s been a pretty good fight. Until last week…when trust delivered a solid shot to my heart. I attended a conference where a man who had been adopted through Compassion was interviewed. His story struck clobbered me.

If you’d like to watch, here it is.

I could think of a million reasons why I didn’t need to sponsor a child. They all have to do with my money, my comfort, and my trust in God’s provision. The fact is my family is not rich. We make it, but the $35 a month would hurt. It would pinch things a bit, but do I trust God to provide for my family so much that I’d be willing to put us on the edge a little?

I wrestle with that. I know God doesn’t call me to take part in every organization in the world and save everyone from poverty, disease, etc. But I wonder if I, and most other Christians, have one of two problems:

  1. A Listening Problem – We’re not open to steps God wants us to take in serving others.
  2. A Trusting Problem – Will God take care of my needs, my family, and my stuff if I give all that I am to others?

That second question haunts me. We are part of God’s plan. Think of the abundance He has blessed us with. Are we willing to trust God completely or do we hedge our bets and offer up a few prayers on the world’s behalf? I’ve said this before, but sometimes I’ve wondered if, as I pray for people, does God look down and respond, “That’s why you’re there! That’s why you have the resources you have. Go. Be my hands and feet. Tell others about me through the way you love.”

Will we trust? Is our God big enough to place our lives, security, and possessions in his hands? Are we willing to lay everything down?

How can you Become Last today?

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One Note in a Beautiful Symphony

One of the greatest tragedies to befall a man is the belief that what he does is irrelevant. The more meaningless life becomes in his head, the quicker his life will mirror the belief. For me, one of the greatest paradoxes of life is the knowledge of how small we are in the universe, but how significant even the smallest of our actions can be. This video can give you a glimpse of the magnitude of the universe.

We may just be a tiny dot in the grand scheme of things, but we have a part in the play. In fact, even the action we believe to be the most insignificant can be life changing or world altering. Two of my previous blogs come to mind:

  • Your Small is Someone’s Large – This was my reaction to Vitamin Angels’ guest post. They wrote how: It costs Vitamin Angels just 25 cents per child per year to provide vitamin A and antiparasitic medicine to children in need. That means that for $1, you can provide a child under 5 with enough vitamin A for the four most vulnerable years of their life. Tiny contribution. Life changing consequences.
  • Life as a Textbook – One simple act of responsibility by my wife changed the way I look at litter forever.

I bring all this up because this past week I heard another story that emphasizes my point. I was at a leadership conference where they highlighted different social causes. One was Compassion International. They interviewed a 28-year-old (?) man who had been sponsored through Compassion since he was 8. He had lost his dad and his mom was very sick. He had even had to move to his Aunt’s house where he was the eighth child. His life was not going well. At that time, a 20-year-old college student (Mark) from Canada sponsored him for no more than $35 a month. Because of that generosity, the man was now training to be a pastor and was preparing to go back to Kenya to help others. The man had even saved the first letter he had received from the Canadian college student.

It was a touching story, but to top it off they asked him if had ever met his sponsor. “No, I have not”, he replied. And that’s when they brought his sponsor out. You’ve never seen a grown man cry as much and as hard as this man from Kenya. He hugged Mark for about five or ten minutes and they tried to continue the interview. However, he could barely stand and he just sat on the floor bawling. The look in his eyes contained a thousand words. They ranged from inexpressible joy to “I can’t believe I’m meeting you!” to “Thank you!” It was a beautiful moment.

Many of us may never receive that moment. Mark could have never met the man he once sponsored. But would that have changed the significance of what he had done? No. The Kenyan man’s life was forever changed.

Remember the small things. They are never really small. They are just small in the moment. Never believe the lie that says your life is irrelevant. You matter. I matter. People halfway around the world matter. Our lives may just be small notes  in the grand symphony of life, but imagine the ugly silence if those notes were removed.

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Five Minutes and a Smile

Can you give five minutes? That’s all it takes to make an impact. There are so many people that could use your prayer, encouragement, time, help. Will you take five minutes to do something for someone today and this weekend? A sample of stories I’ve heard about this week…

  • Numerous people battling cancer.
  • A positive step in the fight against AIDS! Awesome news!
  • People going through surgeries.
  • Families dealing with the loss of loved ones.
  • First hand accounts of troops fighting overseas.
  • Awesome stories of kids making a difference! Seriously, I love those stories.

My point being. Life is rough. But you CAN make a difference in someone’s life. Think of someone you know who’s going through a difficult time. Write them a note, pray for them, visit them, call them, or come up with some creative way of helping them. Donate to your favorite charity. Geico claims to save people hundreds of dollars in 15 minutes. You can do better in five!

Enjoy your weekend and try to find that five minutes!

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Nurturing Compassion in Kids

Someone, somewhere once said, “Children are the future.” Well, if no one did, they should have. It’s true. As much as we want to live forever, it’s important for us to teach the next generation the beauty of Becoming Last. I think a lot of times we want our children to have certain qualities, but we just kind of hope they turn out for good. As parents, grandparents, and friends we should be more intentional in instilling values in our kids. With that in mind, here are three ways to begin teaching your kids about loving others.

  1. Giving – My family has been taking a financial management course and this past week I was encouraged by the section dealing with children. It promoted the idea of teaching kids financial responsibility at an early age by letting them do some of their chores for money. Then, having them save some, give some away, and spend some if they want. I love the idea of at least teaching your children to be generous with their money. Of course, parents have to model it, but imagine the consequences if we raised up a generation of kids who would give lavishly to those in need! Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision. That’s such an easy, practical way to tangibly demonstrate why giving and serving are important.
  2. Kids Are Heroes – Discover places such as kidsareheroes.com. This website (and others like it) have inspiring stories from other kids and they give ideas for projects your child or family can do together.
  3. Serve Together – Words are cheap. A local pastor quoted this the other day and it applies here:

“Service and selflessness are just words on a page without a rigorous methodology for constantly reinforcing these principles.” A Turak

My wife would be the first to tell you I have all sorts of brilliant ideas and theories, but many of them don’t ever get put into action. I can tell my son all about how Jesus loves everyone or how we should Become Last, but unless I model that and give us opportunities to serve together then all the talk and theorizing is in vain.

Search on the internet for ways to serve in your community. My community is have a litter pick-up day soon. That’s a great opportunity for a grade-school child. Maybe do a food drive together. Or run a lemonade stand as you raise money for a charity. One of these days I’ll post a list of ways you and your families can begin loving others so look for that soon.

Have a great Wednesday and I hope you’ll think of some way you can Become Last this week.

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A Great Example

Africa1I am often encouraged and inspired as I read the firsthand accounts of people who have given their lives to serving others. As we explore what it means to Become Last,  we can all learn from those who have modeled that in one form or another. Over the last couple of months, we’ve heard from Vitamin Angels and the Fissels about their adventures in serving others. If you’d like to read what they wrote, just search for them in the search box at the top and you can read their guest posts. You can also click on their names to go to their websites.

Tomorrow, we have another amazing opportunity! We’ll hear from Nikki, another person who puts compassion into action. She’s a college student in Canada who has a heart for children. I ran across her blog last week (she actually has several) and wanted to give her a chance to share her heart for Becoming Last.

As a free preview (ok, so it’s all free…), here is a link to an encouraging and useful post on her Ethiopia blog. She describes meeting the child she sponsors through WorldVision and the encouragement it was to see the letters and things she had sent her. I would highly encourage reading her post because she recommends several organizations through which you can sponsor a child and some tips for what to write and what to send.

If you’ve never sponsored a child, she provides links to look up information for each group. My wife and I have never actually done this as a couple, but I think we may discuss finding some place in our budget. For some reason, I’ve just never thought long and hard about doing this. Like I’ve said before, it’s just easier not to make the effort sometimes. Life just gets moving and unless we’re intentional about setting aside our time and money we easily forget the difference we could make. That’s been the most encouraging part of this blog. I know a handful of people read this from time to time, but it really helps my family and I put our thoughts and promptings into action.

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow as Nikki shares with us a little of her heart for others. Until then, check out her post I on child sponsorship and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Have you Become Last this week?

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Help Others.org

I wanted to pass along a website that may interest some of you. It’s called Help Others.org. From what I understand, a group of volunteers maintain the site and it exists to simply encourage people in their everyday endeavors to help others.

The website won’t blow you away with its style, but here are three reasons why you should at least give it a glance.

  1. Encouraging Stories – People share inspiring stories of kindness, compassion, generosity, and sacrifice. They are fun to read and perhaps they may give you an idea.
  2. Accountability – The website offers you a chance to join a group. They “are a fun way to do some good, connect with others in the spirit of kindness, and to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Even if you don’t join a group, I appreciate their effort in prompting people to serve as communities. We can make a much larger impact together than we ever could alone.
  3. Ideas – Stuck in a rut? Not sure how to serve? Don’t sweat it. They’ve got you covered. There is an easy to access list of ways you can begin loving others.

I hope you’ll take the time to at least check them out. I just found them today so I’m not sure how great they are at updating it daily, but I thought it was worth a few minutes to pass on. Have a great Wednesday, click the “Help Now” widget on the right, and let me know what you thought of Help Others.org.

How can you Become Last to your co-workers?

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