Are you distraught by the world you see around you? Do you ever wonder why those who seem to be stuck in a revolving world of poverty and disparity don’t just move out and on?
The victims of fatherlessness – in a prison without bars
Many of us that have lived the American Dream know and understand the importance of a high school diploma and the opportunities it opens…and can often take it for granted. While staying bound and hopeless seems foreign to us, those born into poverty and an endless cycle of violence and despair know nothing else. It’s a way of life for them; a way that imposes the belief of victimization on them. It is a way often fueled with anger and a family history of hopelessness and fatherlessness.
Yes, we can sit in our comfortable homes and shake our heads at those that keep themselves locked in a prison without bars. It’s easier to judge them than to roll up our sleeves and help – in some way – in any way possible.
The Lord has something to say about this. In Haggai 1:4 He voices displeasure at those that are content and living comfortably while His house lies in ruins. The application for us is to be cautious of the dangers of contentment and turning a blind eye to the things that concern our Lord. In this case that would be turning a blind eye to His children living in despair. 1 John 2:9-12 further emphasizes that if we love God, we would love His children, who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. But you may be asking how can you do this practically when you actually don’t know anyone living in this type of environment?
A program for fatherless young men and women
Recently I’ve been blessed to learn about Vincent Gray Academy, a program in East St. Louis, Illinois. For those not familiar with the statistics of this city, it’s just about as socially and economically oppressed as any city can be. Vincent Gray provides the opportunity for high risk young men and women who have fallen through the cracks of academia to obtain an official Illinois high school diploma. Those that attend Vincent Gray Academy are grasping the opportunity to change their lives. They are not asking for a handout; they are asking for a hand up. You can be that hand up by changing those who have been living as victims into becoming victors.
On a personal basis, I could hardly restrain myself from leaping full force into doing whatever possible to help these young people. As a Christian, I do not take lightly the command to equip the saints of God and to follow the example of the Apostles and be a world changer.
In the underpopulated lifeboats
Recently I heard a sermon by Tony Evans where he spoke about the underpopulated lifeboats of the Titanic. He said only one lifeboat returned to the wreck to rescue those about to drown and die. Evans compared the others in the under populated lifeboats to Christians who are content with their own assurance of salvation to risk helping others in need. In East St. Louis and other such cities around this nation, people are drowning in despair and dying while we sit content in our comfortable homes and shake our heads. God forgive us.
If this speaks to your heart, commit to being a world-changer and help this mission. You too can be part of the dream by coming alongside of us at Vincent Gray Academy and helping in any way possible. For instance, we are hosting our first fundraising banquet on October 26th. Tickets are $50 each, but you can also sponsor a black, gold, silver, diamond and platinum level table, which we can fill on your behalf. The website: vincentgray.org has more information about this. And if you are not in a position to donate financially, you can make a significant difference by adding us to your prayer list. In the secular world it is often said that everything moves on green (meaning money), but when it comes to missions, everything moves on prayer. So never take prayer lightly.
From victims to victors
You can do more. If you are so motivated to help others like our students, you can study what we have done and duplicate it in an inner city near you. We can literally change the makeup of this nation by using Vincent Gray as a prototype for like endeavors popping up all over this great country. If you think this is impossible, may I remind you that with God all things are possible.
Together we can make a difference in the lives of many – a difference that goes well beyond the parameters of our own lives. Maybe we can’t all donate, or we can’t all contribute our time, but we can all do something. And perhaps the smallest something you do God will magnify and change the life of a young man or woman, who in turn will change the lives of others. This is how world changing happens, and this is how you can go from being a couch potato to being a world changer.
To find out more about us, donate, or purchase a banquet ticket, visit our website at www.VincentGray.org.
As the Rev. Dr. Gloria Harris once said,
It’s not about a handout; it’s a hand up that counts.
RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.
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