By: Dr. Kelly Crowdis, serving in Haiti
With so much need in the world, the most common question I’m asked is “can my donation actually make a difference?”
Before I give you my answer, I want to share an update on someone you may remember. Does Franso’s smiling face look familiar?
I introduced you to this young man a few years ago and I’m thrilled to let you know that thanks to the gifts made to CVM’s Animal Impact, Franso has thrived.
For the past few years, Franso has been actively participating in the Give a Kid to a Kid program in Haiti and since then his life has radically transformed. And it all started with a $50 gift. This one gift was all he needed to turn his life around. It’s truly remarkable considering where he came from.
Here in Haiti, the Give a Kid to a Kid program allows young people like Franso the opportunity to escape the lure of gang violence and provide a livelihood for themselves (and often their entire families). With your help, children like Franso are given an infant kid, and the responsibility of feeding, caring and raising the animal as their own.
As a veterinarian serving with CVM in Haiti, it brings me enormous pride to see these animals being loved and nurtured. But even more so, what a blessing to be able to show Christ’s abounding love in a part of the world that so desperately needs it.
You are such a big part of this! Your gift today can make all the difference!
Children like Franso (and his family) rely on you for this opportunity. Without you and your gift, they are stuck in a cycle of poverty and gang activity that is very difficult to escape.
But that’s why the Give a Kid to a Kid program works so well! It gives children like Franso the chance they need. From one pregnant female goat in 3 years, Franso has earned enough to now buy a cow. He is selling the milk and has a bank account all of his own. That in itself is amazing; the more incredible thing is that he sets apart offspring from one female goat to donate to his local church! Praise the LORD!
What’s most pleasing to me is that Franso is growing closer to Jesus. He’s become a leader in the local school and is even mentoring four other young men, trying to get them off the streets.
All of this because of one simple $50 donation! So can your donation make a difference?
The answer is emphatically YES! ABSOLUTELY!!
Whether it’s on the streets of Haiti, a slum in Kenya, or in the unreached villages of Mongolia, CVM is sending Christian veterinarians to use animals as a bridge to serve communities, save lives, and share the Gospel.
Your gift to CVM’s Animal Impact will help change lives and make a long-lasting impact in the poorest communities around the world.
Just the other day, Franso came up to me and quietly whispered: “Thank you for the goat. They make such a difference here.”
Your donation WILL make a difference. I see it every day in the eyes and smiles of children like Franso.
I’ll be praying for you as you consider your gift to CVM’s Animal Impact Gift Guide and how, with God’s grace, you can truly transform lives.
I thank God for you,
This past September, a team of 22, consisting of 13 vets, 6 vet techs, and 3 family members, traveled to South Dakota where they provided basic small and large animal veterinary services to the Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation and shared the love of Christ with the people.
The Pine Ridge reservation is the eighth largest reservation in the nation. However, in many ways the poverty on Pine Ridge is similar to the poverty seen in the third world. Many homes are without running water and without sewer (via). As of 2007, the unemployment rate was between 80-90%, the alcoholism rate as high as 80%, the suicide rate more than twice the national rate, and the life expectancy on Pine Ridge is the lowest in the United States and the 2nd lowest in the Western Hemisphere (via).Read More
What is it about starting or changing habits that’s so hard? We get into these ruts in our lives, and convince ourselves that there is only one way to do things.Read More
My wife, Jann, and I have been involved in a unique ministry in our church the past ten years- Marital Conflict Resolution. To say that this is a difficult and challenging ministry would be an understatement. Our pastor calls it the “colon ministry”, dealing with dreadful sin that most would just hope passes on. Since our theme this year is Abounding Love, I thought it would be helpful for us to look at how this type of love helps us avoid and resolve conflict. Do you have any current conflicts in your life? If you had trouble thinking of one, you are truly a rare individual. We live in a fallen world and face-to-face with fellow sinners daily in our families, at work, and even in our ministries.
Over the next few months, we will explore how the first fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), love, helps us deal with conflict. Our topics will include:
- Love Defines Our Response
- Love Denies Self
- Love Forbears
- Love Seeks to Reconcile
In this issue, we will have a look at how love defines our response to every circumstance. A good starting point is Paul’s profound definition of love in 1 Cor. 13:4-7, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. In this passage, Paul is insisting that we practice love in the midst of our conflict. The Corinthians were well known for their knowledge and giftedness, but their infighting was tearing the church apart. He had mentioned the various gifts in the previous chapter and closed out that chapter with the comment, “I will show you the most excellent way.” Many of these early churches brought very diverse social groups together and conflict was inevitable. One of the classic divisions was the Jewish Christians with their age old traditions and their much more permissive Gentile brothers. What key element was missing and could such division be resolved? It was, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit producing a self-sacrificial love. James Dunn comments, “It is only this love that is strong enough to hold together a congregation of disparate individuals.” (1)
Does that still happen today? I will occasionally ask groups to raise their hands if they have been in a church that has had a major conflict. Usually 50% or more will acknowledge having experienced such a conflict, especially the over 40 crowd. What key element is missing? In his defining passage, Paul gives fifteen descriptions of love (six positive and nine negative). He clearly lays out how we should and should not behave. Paul had clearly seen how believers can bite and devour one another in the name of Christ. The very Christ who laid down His life for us, encourages us to be willing to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).
Sound and biblical advice for each of us would be to review and meditate on this precious passage before any impending interaction that could get contentious. We need to be constantly reminded of what abounding love does and doesn’t do during a conflict. An author that I mentioned in the last Herald, Francis Schaeffer, was a pastor who dealt with serious denominational differences over the course of his career. He saw, first hand, the ugliness we project to the rest of the world as we fuss over doctrine. He wrote about speaking the truth and acting in love simultaneously in a book called The Church Before the Watching World.
Does social media (facebook, twitter, texts) offer us more opportunities for conflict? We have all seen that play out. Can we speak lovingly with our digits? Certainly. Many of you are making use of this means to love as our Savior loves. I had an recent interaction over an internet piece I do for our church called Culture Watch. The title of the article was “Patriotism and the Church”. I had addressed the issue of total avoidance of flags or patriotic music during holidays like July 4th. Many young evangelical pastors are saying stay away from anything patriotic as it distracts from the main focus of worship and can offend a multicultural audience. A young pastor objected, but his objection was done in such a loving way. In the midst of stating his different view, he added the following comments, “I greatly appreciate and admire the humility you demonstrated throughout the article, even in brotherly disagreement with the other author. I appreciate your passion and even your frankness on matters of conviction. I know you as nothing other than a man who loves God’s Word and God’s people dearly. For this, I am grateful to God! I’m sure that I have likely misread your intentions, which is why I’ve chosen to avoid presuming too much and message you privately for clarification. Grace to you, brother.” As I read that, my first thought was that I had witnessed digital love in action over a polarizing topic!
I have never heard this young pastor preach on love, though I am sure he has. In that interaction, he was basically practicing what he preaches. It is easy to talk about love, as we have all done. 1 John 3:18 tells us, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. A story is told by Jerome, a 4th century scholar about the Apostle John, the author of that verse. This Apostle didn’t die under the knife as most did. He was in exile on the isle of Patmos and likely lived into his late 90s. Even with his health failing and having difficulty speaking, he would constantly be heard saying, “Little children, love one another!” He was asked by a disciple, “Teacher, why do you always say this?” The aged Apostle replied , “Because it is the Lord’s command, and if it alone is done, it is enough!” (2)
*Next month we will explore how Love Denies Self.
- The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon by James Dunn
If You Bite and Devour One Another by Alexander StrauchRead More