Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Forgotten

It's trendy to be part of a cause, but when it comes down to it, not many people believe in something enough for it to impact or change the way they live their lives. It's easy to wear TOMS Shoes or a rubber bracelet, or to purchase something you normally would that just happens to benefit a cause. But when a world problem asks more of us, the answer is often no.
That's not the case at Crave, the college-age ministry at Saddleback Church. Some of the most compassionate and mobilized students on the planet are involved in this ministry. They are not afraid to sacrifice their time or money or energy or resources. They do what it takes to make a difference in the lives that society has ignored and forgotten.

A few weeks ago, Crave held an art show to promote "The Forgotten," a new name to the face of Crave's outreach ministries. (These pics are all from the show.) 450 people attended this event! Over 40 artists displayed 100 works of art, including paintings, drawings, photography, graphic design, fashion design, and video media. There were also performaces--music, skits, and poetry. These weren't professional artists, just college kids from Orange County--talented students who have been moved by their experiences with serving those who society has deemed the least, the last, and the lost. Their artwork was a response to the poverty, pain, disease, and needs that they've seen around the world and in Orange County. These students have slept in the streets of Skid Row, spent months in Africa, gotten up at the crack of dawn on Saturday mornings to go to Compton and do physical labor all day, spent their own money to show Christ's love to people in developing countries instead of on vacations with their friends. One student is learning Russian at Saddleback College because she wants to devote her life to serving the people of Ukraine.

These students aren't rich or spiritual nutcases. They are just ordinary students--18 to 24-year-olds--responding to God's call to serve and love. And it's not always easy finding the courage or strength to be obedient to that call...

The point of the art show was to create an awareness for "The Forgotten" and to give students the opportunities to sign up for outreach ministries. Over fifty students signed up to serve! These students will start tutoring high schoolers in Santa Ana, building relationships with kids at juvenile hall, supporting orphans in Orange County and street children in Rwanda and Ukraine, and visiting the elderly.
I'm so proud of this ministry. Our students are constantly challenging me and teaching me about what denying myself, taking up my cross, and following God really means (Mark 8:34). I'm so thankful for them...it's a blessing seeing God changing their lives and the lives of others through Crave, a ministry that God has used to change my life, too.
Support The Forgotten on facebook!

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